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.