Clippers Meet With Danilo Gallinari, Rudy Gay

The Clippers met with two of their top free agent targets at forward on Sunday, according to various reports. The team’s presentation for Danilo Gallinari, which had been previously reported, made a “strong impression” on the veteran forward, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Meanwhile, the Clips also had a meeting with Rudy Gay tonight, per Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times (via Twitter).

Gallinari has long been a target for the Clippers, according to Wojnarowski, and it sounds like there’s mutual interest between the two sides. David Aldridge of TNT tweets that the club’s brass “painted a picture” for Gallinari that showed how he could be a key piece of one of the league’s best frontcourts, along with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

Even after trading Chris Paul last week, the Clippers project to be an over-the-cap team this year, in large part due to Griffin’s lucrative new deal. As such, the team can’t sign a free agent outright for a starting salary higher than the $8.4MM mid-level exception. However, a sign-and-trade could allow for a higher starting salary for either Gallinari or Gay — the Clips were said to be exploring possible sign-and-trade scenarios involving Gallinari earlier on Sunday.

Gallinari is also viewed as a potential target for the Celtics if they miss out on Gordon Hayward, but the Italian forward may no longer be in play for the Nuggets. Denver committed to Paul Millsap on Sunday night, significantly reducing the team’s ability to make a competitive offer to Gallinari. As for Gay, he has received interest from the Thunder, among other teams.

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