Northwest Notes: Gallinari, Kaman, Timberwolves

Danilo Gallinari will often move from small forward to power forward this season to take advantage of offensive skills, Pat Graham of the Associated Press reports. Gallinari played a lot of power forward for Italy at the EuroBasket tournament, where he averaged nearly 18 points a game, and new Nuggets coach Michael Malone plans to use the same tactic, Graham continues. “He’s 6’10”. He can handle the ball. He can play pick-and-roll. He can stretch the floor and shoot the 3,” Malone said in the story. “There’s not a lot he can’t do offensively.” Gallinari is eager to step into the role as a go-to guy, Graham adds. “I’ve always been trying to do that, since I came to Denver,” Gallinari told Graham. “That’s what I like to do. I feel good filling those shoes.”

In other news around the Northwest Division:

  • Veteran center Chris Kaman is unlikely to get much playing time this season, but he still believes he can serve a valuable role with the Trail Blazers, according to Mike Richman of The Oregonian. Kaman is behind Meyers Leonard, Mason Plumlee, Ed Davis and Noah Vonleh at the power forward and center spots, and Al-Farouq Aminu is also likely to get minutes at power forward, Richman continues. But Kaman feels like he can contribute in other ways, as he told Richman. “I still feel like I can provide a lot on or off the court for this team,” he said. “If my role is to be the guy that’s helping guys off the bench and I get a little bit of minutes here and there, I’m going to play as hard as I can.”
  • Nuggets point guard Jameer Nelson wants to go into coaching but he has no plans to retire at the moment, Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post reports. He has already made an immediate impression on Malone with his mentoring skills. “I have the utmost confidence in Jameer Nelson as a leader,” Malone said to Dempsey. Nelson held a summertime team bonding session at his Philadelphia-area home and has been instructing rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay in camp, Dempsey adds.
  • Anthony Bennett decided to explore a buyout with the Timberwolves after he met with his agent, Jeff Schwartz, following his stint with Team Canada this summer, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Schwartz recommended the change of scenery since the Timberwolves had a logjam at power forward, the story continues. Bennett had other options, including the Trail Blazers, after he cleared waivers before signing with the Raptors.
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