The trade rumors that surrounded Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari throughout the 2019 offseason and at the start of the ’19/20 season died down to some extent as the team moved into playoff position. However, Oklahoma City appeared to come close to sending Gallinari to Miami at the trade deadline, with reports suggesting that failed extension talks between the veteran and the Heat playing a large role in scuttling the deal.
Moving from OKC to Miami would have meant leaving one playoff team for another, but Gallinari still was glad to stick with the Thunder, as he said during an appearance on the Daily Thunder Podcast.
“I really wanted to stay to stay here,” he said. “[It would be] tough to leave such a great atmosphere, great teammates, a group that is winning… I wanted to stay.”
Gallinari is on an expiring contract and projects to be one of the best free agents available this summer. Still, with so little league-wide cap room available, there’s a chance that Gallinari’s Bird rights will put the Thunder in the driver’s seat to hang onto the Italian forward. He suggested during his Daily Thunder appearance that he’d welcome that outcome.
“I hope so,” he said when asked if re-signing with the Thunder is in play. “It’s not the time now to talk with the team. But in the summer, it’s going to be interesting for me… Definitely, it could be a great option for me to stay here.”
Here’s more out of OKC:
- In a Q&A with John Schuhmann of NBA.com, veteran point guard Chris Paul said there’s “no chance” he’d want to become an NBA head coach after he eventually retires. “I don’t want to travel like that,” Paul said. “I want to be around the game as much as possible. I watch every game. But I want to be around my kids and family.”
- As we noted on Monday, two-way player Luguentz Dort is building a strong case for a promotion to the Thunder’s 15-man roster. However, Dort himself is remaining patient and trusting the club’s approach, as Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman writes. “Our organization, they know what they’re doing,” Dort said. “I’m really just staying patient and really just playing basketball.”
- Cray Allred of Daily Thunder takes an in-depth look at Dort’s situation and potential next steps for the rookie and the Thunder.
- Injured Thunder forward Andre Roberson has returned to Oklahoma City and rejoined the team as he continues his rehab process, per Maddie Lee of The Oklahoman. Roberson, who has spent multiple seasons battling knee injuries had relocated to Los Angeles in early December for rehab purposes.