Danilo Gallinari

Pacific Notes: Gallinari, Shumpert, Deng, Suns

Danilo Gallinari‘s injury-riddled season has been the Clippers’ biggest issue, coach Doc Rivers told Elliott Teaford of the Orange County Register and other media members. Gallinari hasn’t played since February 22nd and has only appeared in 19 games. He was acquired in a deal with the Nuggets last summer with the expectation that he’d solidify the small forward spot. “Overall, of the guys we’ve missed [most], it’s ‘Gallo,’” Rivers said. “It’s not even close.” Hand and gluteus maximus injuries have sidelined Gallinari, who has averaged 15.9 PPG when he’s been able to take the court.

In other news around the Pacific Division:

  • Kings guard Iman Shumpert will likely opt in to the final year of his contract, according to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. Shumpert has a $11MM player option but has only appeared in 14 games this season due to knee and foot injuries, which would depress his value on the open market, Jones opines. He is unlikely to play again this season since the Kings are evaluating their younger players, Jones adds. Shumpert is recovering from plantar fasciitis. Shumpert was part of the multi-team trade that sent George Hill to the Cavaliers at the February deadline.
  • The Lakers considered tossing veteran forward Luol Deng into the rotation because of injuries but ultimately decided against it, Bill Oram of the Orange County Register reports. Deng has been in limbo all season, getting benched since a 13-minute appearance on opening night. Deng signed a four-year, $72MM free agent contract two summers ago will probably be waived this offseason under the stretch provision, allowing the Lakers to spread his remaining $36MM cap hit over five seasons.
  • Suns forwards Marquese Chriss and Jared Dudley were fined $25K apiece by the league for an dustup against the Jazz last week, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets.

L.A. Notes: LeBron, Lakers, Gallinari, Thornwell

James’ recent purchase of a house in the Los Angeles area won’t affect his decision, Heisler claims, and neither will the chance to play with a young core made up of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Julius Randle and Lonzo Ball. Unless the Lakers can convince James that his presence would make them an instant contender, they’ll be a long shot to bring him to L.A.
There’s more NBA news out of Los Angeles:
  • With the playoffs slipping out of reach, the Lakers will spend the rest of this season deciding which free agents they want to keep, states Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. With only five players under contract for 2018/19, Brook Lopez, Isaiah Thomas and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will be among those auditioning for jobs, as will Channing Frye if he returns after an appendectomy.
  • Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari will have his right hand examined next week to determine if he needs surgery, tweets Tomer Azarly of Clutch Points. Gallinari added that swelling and discoloration in the hand have subsided since he suffered a non-displaced fracture late last month. Gallinari is averaging 15.9 points per night, but has been limited to 19 games by a variety of injuries.
  • Rookie Clippers guard Sindarius Thornwell made his first start in nearly three months Friday and responded with a career-high 14 points in a win over the Cavaliers, notes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Thornwell’s playing time had slipped as the team tried out two-way guards C.J. Williams and Tyrone Wallace, but he was ready when coach Doc Rivers called on him to match up with James. “I guess it’s just Doc’s way of seeing if I’m ready to play,” Thornwell said. “He just wants to see if I’m focused and locked in. But my starts are always on somebody tough.”

Clippers Rumors: LeBron, Jordan, Gallinari

In the wake of Monday’s Blake Griffin trade agreement, word surfaced that the Clippers were trying to force their way into this summer’s LeBron James sweepstakes, with the Griffin move representing the first step necessary to clear salary from their 2018/19 books. However, Clippers fans shouldn’t get their hopes up about that scenario, says Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.

As of now, James isn’t expected to seriously consider the Clippers in free agency, a source close to LeBron tells Spears. A source close to the Clippers also admits to Spears that the club doesn’t really expect to receive legit consideration from the four-time MVP. Still, the team has to make the phone call, Spears notes.

While the idea of acquiring LeBron is a long shot, the new voices in the Clippers’ front office, including Jerry West, were able to convince owner Steve Ballmer that the franchise has a real shot to enter the mix for the NBA’s top 2018 free agents, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times. Multiple league insiders tell Stein that the Clips will continue to explore pre-deadline deals that help them create cap room for this summer, though using cap room in 2019 represents a solid fallback plan.

Here’s more on the Clippers:

  • The Clippers haven’t ruled out the possibility of extending DeAndre Jordan or Lou Williams, and have recently ramped up efforts to secure commitments from those players, writes Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. If extensions can’t be reached, the odds of pre-deadline trades involving Jordan and/or Williams would increase. Still, the Clips haven’t closed the door on the idea of re-signing either player this offseason, per Spears.
  • Kyler and Stein both suggest that the Clippers will explore attaching multiyear contracts to Jordan and Williams in trades as they look to create more 2018 cap flexibility. Word is that any trade involving Jordan would need to include a contract like Wesley Johnson‘s or Austin Rivers‘, says Kyler.
  • It makes more sense for the Clippers to focus on 2019 free agency rather than frantically trying to ditch bad contracts now, argues Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.
  • Danilo Gallinari is currently the only Clipper with a guaranteed salary for 2019/20. The veteran forward will return to action for the club tonight after missing the last 25 games with a glute injury, Doc Rivers confirmed today (Twitter link via Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times).

Blake Griffin Roundup: Analysis, Reactions, Rumors

The Clippers and Pistons had discussed the idea of a Blake Griffin trade for about a week before finalizing an agreement on Monday, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. However, as O’Connor writes, the door opened on a potential Griffin trade back in 2016 after the big man punched a Clippers equipment manager. Doc Rivers had “casual conversations” with the Celtics about a possible Griffin deal in the summer of ’16, then listened last season when the Knicks reached out.

Now that the Clippers have moved on from Griffin, the franchise is “starting over,” but doesn’t plan on bottoming out, a GM tells O’Connor. Depending on what other moves the Clippers make before the trade deadline, pursuing a maximum-salary player this summer could be on the table, though 2019 currently looks like the more logical time for L.A. to go after one or two max guys. If the Clips want to create more flexibility for the summer of 2018, attaching a multiyear contract like Austin Rivers‘ or Danilo Gallinari‘s to Lou Williams‘ inexpensive expiring deal in a trade could be an option, O’Connor notes.

As for the Pistons, they may not be done dealing either. According to O’Connor, Detroit remains interested in Jazz swingman Rodney Hood, and could send out forward Stanley Johnson before the deadline.

As we wait to see how the Clippers and Pistons follow up on Monday’s mega-deal, let’s round up more reactions, rumors, and analysis related to 2018’s first NBA trade:

  • After initially responding to news of the trade on Monday night with a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air GIF, Griffin issued a more formal statement this morning, thanking Clippers fans and announcing that he’s ready to start “the next chapter” of his career in Detroit.
  • Although the sentiment around the NBA is that the Clippers made out well on Monday, Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports wonders if the Griffin trade will be the rare blockbuster that doesn’t end up helping either team. Mannix also hears that Clips ownership has no interest in a Sixers-esque tear-down and rebuild.
  • The Clippers weren’t trying to deceive Griffin when they made their over-the-top pitch to him in free agency seven months ago; if anything, they may have been trying to deceive themselves, writes Lee Jenkins of SI.com.
  • The Clippers are moving in the right direction after the Griffin trade, according to Bill Plaschke of The Los Angeles Times, who calls the move a “gutsy admission of a mistake and a calculated gamble on the future.”
  • With the Cavaliers set to play the Pistons on Tuesday (the newcomers won’t be active), LeBron James said it was “unfortunate” for Griffin that he was traded by the Clippers, per Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. “He spent his last nine years there,” James said. “He signed a multiyear deal there this summer, so that’s unfortunate. But that’s the business side of it. It’s both sides. It works both sides, though. It’s the business.”
  • Despite a new arena, attendance and enthusiasm has been modest in Detroit this season. That’s a key reason why the Pistons needed to swing for the fences and generate some buzz by acquiring a star like Griffin, argues Ansar Khan of MLive.com.
  • Pistons president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy has long been willing to push his chips into the middle of the table to land a star player, and finally got his chance to do so this week, says Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.
  • We rounded up more initial reactions to the Griffin trade on Monday night.

Danilo Gallinari Expected To Miss Multiple Weeks

DECEMBER 21, 8:22am: Gallinari said late on Wednesday night that his latest glute issue may sideline him for just as long as the previous iteration of the injury did, if not longer.

“More or less, it’s the same thing I did before, but maybe a little more time,” Gallinari said, per Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. “So the rehab I did in four weeks, you’re going to spread it out in six weeks instead of four weeks.”

Gallinari’s estimated timetable would put him on track to return around the end of January.

DECEMBER 20, 9:09pm: Danilo Gallinari will remain out of action as he recovers from an injury to his gluteus maximus, according to a team press release. He will be reevaluated in January.

The small forward suffered a contusion to the left glute muscle earlier in the season, which forced him to miss nearly a month of action before he attempted a comeback. He played in a pair of games earlier in the month, though he re-aggravated the injury and hasn’t played since.

The Clippers brought Gallinari to the team via a three-way, sign-and-trade deal with the Nuggets and Hawks. The former No. 6 overall pick’s contract covers three seasons and is worth slightly under $65MM.

Gallinari has only been able to play in 11 games for Los Angeles. He’s averaging 13.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while shooting 34.5% from the field.

Los Angeles Notes: Ball, Bryant, Teodosic, Gallinari

After Lonzo Ball‘s outspoken father, LaVar Ball, recently made critical comments of the Lakers and head coach Luke Walton, the organization held a private meeting with LaVar, asking him to tone down his remarks, ESPN’s Ramon Shelbourne writes.

The elder Ball confirmed the meeting — which was organized by Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka — took place and said both sides finding common ground is critical to both his son and the team.

“It was the best thing, man. Everybody’s going to try to make it an ego thing, like I’m trying to tell them what to do or they’re trying to tell me to tone it down,” LaVar said of the meeting. “It’s not about that. It’s about coming together and to get a solution to this problem.”

Among LaVar’s criticisms were Walton not playing Lonzo for long enough stretches, adding that he could coach his son better. Walton downplayed LaVar’s comments in recent days and has praised Lonzo’s team-first mindset and contributions. As the season — and Lonzo’s career progresses — LaVar said he would continue speaking his mind with the goal of helping his son improve.

“It may sound crazy to other people, but I really just want the best for Lonzo, and the best for Lonzo is going to be what’s best for the organization,” LaVar said. “Because if everybody winning, we good.”

Read up on more news coming out of Los Angeles:

  • Former Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant has made several comments about Lonzo in recent days and his latest take on the 20-year-old point guard directly addressed his father, Bill Oram of the Orange County Register writes. Bryant said that pressure placed on Lonzo is “completely inconsequential” as long as he proves himself on the court. “The only time that matters is when he has to think of an answer,” Bryant said. “What matters is what he does in the gym before practice, during practice and after practice. That’s the only thing that matters.”
  • Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports profiled Clippers rookie point guard Milos Teodosic, chronicling his journey from one of the most creative passers in the game as an international player to a starter in the NBA.
  • Danilo Gallinari returned to the Clippers lineup after missing 13 games with a glute injury and he will now likely miss several games with a new glute injury, ESPN’s Lawrence Murray writes. Injuries have allowed Gallinari to appear in just 11 games this season, averaging 13.4 PPG. “It’s been that type of season thus far,” head coach Doc Rivers said. “Things can change. Right now, they are, they keep changing back to somebody getting hurt.”

Danilo Gallinari Set To Return For Clippers

Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari is set to get back on the court after missing a month due to a strained left glute, he confirmed on Wednesday (Twitter link via Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times). Gallinari, who suffered the injury in a November 5 game against the Heat, will make his return tonight against the Timberwolves.

Gallinari, acquired via a three-way sign-and-trade in July, was the Clippers’ most noteworthy free agent addition this offseason, but he has been one of many of the team’s newly-added players who has faced health problems so far. Point guards Milos Teodosic and Patrick Beverley have missed time too, with Beverley’s knee injury sidelining him for the rest of the season. Blake Griffin, who signed a new five-year contract with the Clips over the summer, is also on the shelf.

DeAndre Jordan has been the Clippers’ lone starter who has stayed healthy throughout the year, a fact he alluded to today after word broke that Gallinari is set to return. “We’ve got a starter back,” Jordan said, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “That makes two of us.”

With the Clippers plagued by the injury bug and struggling to an 8-14 record, there has been increasing speculation that the team could become a seller prior to the trade deadline. Perhaps Gallinari can help right the ship in Los Angeles, but even if the Clips continue to struggle, it’s hard to imagine the club moving the former Nugget this season. Gallinari, who becomes trade-eligible on December 15, is one of just two Clippers (Griffin is the other) whose salary is fully guaranteed through 2020, so he appears to be part of the team’s long-term plans.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/5/17

Here are Tuesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:


  • After assigning him to the G League for today’s Raptors 905 game, as detailed below, Toronto has recalled Alfonzo McKinnie to the NBA, according to the team (Twitter link).


  • The Raptors assigned Alfonzo McKinnie to the G League this morning, per the team (Twitter link). Toronto’s G League affiliate, the Raptors 905, played a day game today, and McKinnie was excellent, racking up 23 points and 16 rebounds (nine offensive).
  • The Jazz have recalled rookie big man Tony Bradley from their G League squad, the team announced today (via Twitter). Bradley had a double-double (24 points, 10 rebounds) in a win for the Salt Lake City Stars on Monday.
  • After practicing with the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario on Monday, Danilo Gallinari, Milos Teodosic, and Brice Johnson were recalled by the Clippers, as Robert Flom of Clips Nation details. Gallinari and Teodosic are close to returning from their respective injuries, with Gallinari hoping to play on Wednesday.
  • The Bulls have sent second-year guard Kay Felder back to the G League, according to the team (Twitter link). Felder will soon be joined by Zach LaVine, who will continue rehabbing his ACL injury with the Windy City Bulls.
  • Rookie center Ike Anigbogu has been recalled from the G League by the Pacers, the club announced in a press release. The 19-year-old struggled in his most recent game for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, recording just two points and two rebounds in 22 minutes on Monday.
  • The Sixers have recalled Furkan Korkmaz from the Delaware 87ers, tweets Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia. Korkmaz has yo-yo’d back and forth between Philadelphia and Delaware all season — his most recent G League assignment was his seventh.
  • The Kings have made a pair of G League moves, assigning Skal Labissiere to the Reno Bighorns and recalling Georgios Papagiannis, according to the team. Of the two 2016 first-rounders, Labissiere has been the more regular fixture in Sacramento’s rotation this season, averaging 17.1 MPG in 23 contests.

Injury Updates: Leonard, Hardaway, Gallinari, Curry

Spurs All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard said he’ll return soon from the quadriceps injury that has kept him out all season but he still has a few more steps in his rehabilitation process, according to an Associated Press report. Leonard has been practicing but still doesn’t have a target date, the AP report adds. “I feel good, soon to come [and] be able to play on the floor,” Leonard said to reporters on Monday. “It’s been a long wait, but I’m feeling pretty healthy right now.”

In other injury-related news around the league:

  • Knicks shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. could miss multiple games with a stress injury to his lower leg, Al Iannazzone of Newsday reports. Coach Jeff Hornacek hinted to the assembled media that Hardaway could be out for awhile. “There’s concern with anybody when it’s an injury that might be longer than a game or two,” he said.
  • Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari is hopeful of returning this week from a strained left glute, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times relays. Gallinari hasn’t played since November 5th. He was acquired in a three-way deal in July.
  • Pistons power forward Jon Leuer had a joint lubrication injection to help heal his injured left ankle, Rod Beard of the Detroit News writes. Leuer, who has already missed 15 games, won’t even be reevaluated for another two weeks. “Two to four weeks after the injection is when they would start to ramp him back up, so you’d have some time after that, too,” coach Stan Van Gundy told Beard and other media members. “You’re looking 3-5 or 4-6 [weeks] or something like that.”
  • Pelicans star forward Anthony Davis is relieved that his left adductor injury is nothing more than a strain, William Guillory of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Davis felt a sharp pain when suffering the injury last week but is listed as day-to-day. “I‘m getting better every day, I’m not quite there yet,” Davis told Guillory. “But I’ve been getting better for the most part. … On certain movements, the main ones are fine, but a lot of cutting and stuff like that are where the pain comes up.”
  • Warriors guard Stephen Curry sprained his right ankle on Monday but X-rays were negative, Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post tweets. He’ll have an MRI on Tuesday, Sam Amick of USA Today tweets.

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers’ Job Seems Safe

Clippers coach Doc Rivers will likely hold onto his job the remainder of the season, multiple sources told USA Today’s Sam Amick. Owner Steve Ballmer feels the team’s rash of injuries has made it difficult to judge Rivers’ performance this season, Amick continues. The team’s top player, power forward Blake Griffin, is out at least a month with an MCL sprain. Point guard Patrick Beverley underwent season-ending knee surgery, while newcomers Milos Teodosic and Danilo Gallinari have barely played because of ailments. “You’ve just got to hang in there,” Rivers told Amick. “People get down on the team. They get down on you. They get down on everybody. That’s what happens, and you can’t waver. You’ve just got to keep doing your job, and the players have to just keep playing.”

Other notable items from Amick’s story:

  • The club is taking calls on center DeAndre Jordan but not actively shopping him. Jordan is expected to opt of the final year of his contract next summer, leaving $24.1MM on the table. The front office believes it can re-sign him, so they’re asking price for any potential deal is high. The market could heat up on December 15th, when many players who signed new contracts last summer are eligible to be dealt. Jordan hired an agent on Monday, which could facilitate trade talks.
  • The team remains committed to building around Griffin, who re-signed with them over the summer. Griffin doesn’t have an opt-out on his massive five-year, $171.1MM deal until the summer of 2021.
  • Productive role players, such as guard Lou Williams, could be dealt for draft picks. The team still has its first-rounder in June but dealt away its 2019 pick.