Danilo Gallinari

Hiatus Notes: Marbury, Gallinari, Van Gundy, Season

Former Knicks guard Stephon Marbury is working to set up a deal to bring 10 million N95 masks to New York amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Rich Calder of the New York Post writes.

Marbury has arrangements with a company in China that’s willing to supply New York with the masks for $2.75 each, Calder notes, roughly five dollars below what many retailers have been quoting around the state.

“At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn,” Marbury said. “This is something that is close and dear to my heart as far as being able to help New York. I have family there in Coney Island, a lot of family … who are affected by this, so I know how important it is for people to have masks during this time.”

Marbury played 14 NBA seasons before playing in the Chinese Basketball Association. With hopes of facilitating his idea, he reached out to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who has struggled to get in contact with Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. Despite the situation being murky, Marbury’s intentions are clear.

“We’ve been communicating back and forth with the city and state, and for some reason they are saying they don’t need any more masks, but the hospitals are saying they do,” Adams said.

Here are some other notes related to the NBA’s hiatus:

  • Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari has funded 400 COVID-19 testing kits, according to ESPN’s Royce Young. Gallinari partnered with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department to fund the kits and other equipment such as face shields, gloves, gowns and N95 masks. “There is a need, and so people in my position, if we can help, if I can help, it’s something that I feel that I want to do and I need to do,” Gallinari said.
  • Jeff Van Gundy does not expect the NBA season to resume, as relayed by the Boston Globe. “We’re all underestimating the fear,” Van Gundy said. The NBA is still determining how to proceed amidst the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed over 30,000 lives globally as of Sunday night.
  • Kevin Paul Depont of the Boston Globe examines why the NBA and NHL should consider canceling their seasons and shifting their respective focuses to September. Both leagues formally postponed their seasons just over two weeks ago due to COVID-19.

Hiatus Notes: Conference Call, Gallinari, Olympics

The NBA is holding another conference call with its Board of Governors on Tuesday to talk about the hiatus and the league’s plans going forward, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

It will be the third time since last Wednesday that the league has conducted a call with ownership representatives from all 30 teams, according to Wojnarowski, who notes that there’s plenty to discuss and analyze as the coronavirus situation continues to rapidly evolve.

As we wait to hear what gets discussed during today’s meeting, let’s round up a few more notes related to the NBA’s stoppage…

  • A team of ESPN writers, including Eric Woodyard, Tim Bontemps, Nick Friedell, and Malika Andrews, takes a closer look at what the extended layoff will mean for every team in the Eastern Conference. As ESPN details, top teams like the Bucks and Raptors had been dealing with injuries prior to the suspension and should be a whole lot healthier if and when the season resumes.
  • While many NBA players didn’t fully understand the serious nature of the coronavirus outbreak until Rudy Gobert‘s positive test and the NBA’s shutdown last week, Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari had been keeping up on the situation for weeks as he saw how it impacted his home country, writes Marc Stein of The New York Times. “Of course we did a mistake not taking it seriously in Italy and now we are the second- or third-worst country in the world for this virus,” Gallinari said. “Hopefully we’re not going to make the same mistake in the States.”
  • FIBA announced today (via Twitter) that the draw for the 2020 Olympic basketball tournaments, which was scheduled for March 20, has been postponed indefinitely. The U.S., Spain, Australia, France, Argentine, Iran, Japan, and Nigeria will participate in the Olympic tournament, with four more countries set to qualify this summer. However, given the current global pandemic, the odds of those Olympic games in Tokyo going forward as planned seem increasingly shaky.

Suns Pursued Gordon, Mavs Went After Gallinari At Deadline

Within his latest Inside Pass column for The Athletic, Shams Charania passes along details on several deals that were pursued but didn’t get done at the 2020 trade deadline, a month ago today.

According to Charania, the Suns made a “late push” for Magic forward Aaron Gordon, while the Mavericks did the same for Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari. Gallinari is on an expiring contract, but Gordon is under team control for two more years beyond this season and is expected to receive interest from multiple teams this offseason if Orlando is willing to move him, Charania says.

Elsewhere in the Western Conference, the Nuggets attempted to make a “major trade” just before the deadline, sources tell The Athletic. Charania notes that Jrue Holiday was a player of significant interest for Denver, though it’s not clear if he was the player the Nuggets were pushing for at the deadline. The Pelicans never showed any interest in moving Holiday, per Charania.

Finally, while we’ve previously heard that the Lakers made an offer for point guard Derrick Rose, Charania provides some additional details on that offer, writing that it included fan favorite Alex Caruso and draft compensation. The Lakers would have needed to include at least one more player in that package for salary-matching purposes. In any case, the Pistons weren’t interested in moving Rose.

Although nothing materialized on any of these fronts, there’s value in knowing which teams pursued which players, since many of them remain under contract beyond this season and could become trade targets again down the road. Someone like Gallinari, meanwhile, could be on Dallas’ wish list in free agency, assuming the Mavs didn’t simply view him as a rental.

Thunder Notes: Gallinari, CP3, Dort, Roberson

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.

Western Notes: Suns, Gallinari, Hood, Lakers, Mudiay

After the Suns waived Tyler Johnson earlier this week, head coach Monty Williams said Johnson’s replacement on the roster will get the chance to be part of the team’s longer-term plans rather than just being a rental for the rest of the 2019/20 season, as Gina Mizell of The Athletic relays.

Word broke this afternoon that, for now, Jonah Bolden will be the player occupying the roster spot that Johnson previously held. Bolden is only getting a 10-day contract and could end up being a short-term solution as the Suns deal with a bevy of frontcourt injuries. However, if he makes a strong impression during his first few games with the team, a second 10-day contract and perhaps even a multiyear deal could follow. If not, Phoenix may look elsewhere for a player that can fit into the club’s plans beyond this season.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • After holding onto Danilo Gallinari through the trade deadline, the Thunder may explore sign-and-trade scenarios for the veteran forward this offseason, according to Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman, who is skeptical that the rebuilding squad will be enthusiastic about a pricey multiyear contract for a player entering his age-32 season.
  • Trail Blazers swingman Rodney Hood, who is out for the season with a torn Achilles, spoke to Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com about his recovery process and sounded like someone who plans to pick up his 2020/21 player option. “I really want to get back as soon as possible so I can help our goal toward a championship next year,” Hood said.
  • Some rival executives believe there are holes on the Lakers‘ roster and are skeptical of the team’s chances to defeat the Clippers in a seven-game series, writes Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. With those critiques in mind, Pincus explores what options the Lakers might have on the buyout market in the coming weeks.
  • With Mike Conley healthy again, Emmanuel Mudiay has mostly fallen out of the Jazz‘s rotation for the time being. However, that doesn’t mean the team doesn’t need Mudiay, says Tony Jones of The Athletic.

Scotto’s Latest: Gallinari, Nunn, Pacers, Nuggets, More

When the Thunder and Heat discussed a potential Danilo Gallinari trade leading up to last week’s deadline, James Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Kendrick Nunn, and draft compensation were among the various assets that came up in talks, league sources tell Michael Scotto of Bleacher Report. Miami reportedly wanted to extend Gallinari’s contract as part of a deal, but couldn’t agree to terms with his camp, which is one main reason the trade didn’t happen.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe wrote last week that he believed the Heat could’ve acquired Gallinari without surrendering any of their young players like Nunn. So even though his name came up in discussions, that doesn’t necessarily mean the Thunder would have insisted on his inclusion, depending on what other pieces were involved.

While Gallinari remained with the Thunder for this season, Scotto suggests the Heat and Knicks could be among his potential suitors this summer. Miami clearly has interest, and created some cap flexibility for 2020/21 by moving Johnson and Dion Waiters last week. New York, meanwhile, will have cap space and is hiring veteran CAA agent Leon Rose as its new president of basketball operations. Gallinari is a CAA client.

Here are a few more noteworthy tidbits from Scotto’s look at the post-deadline landscape:

  • The Knicks and Pacers discussed a possible Marcus Morris trade. According to Scotto, a package that featured Aaron Holiday, Doug McDermott, and T.J. Leaf was “briefly kicked around,” but didn’t end up going far.
  • McDermott’s name also came up in discussions about a potential Pacers trade with the Bucks involving Ersan Ilyasova, says Scotto. It’s not known which team initiated those talks.
  • Before the Cavaliers traded for Andre Drummond, they called the Pacers to ask about Myles Turner‘s availability, per Scotto. Indiana has remained firm on keeping Turner, though many executives expect the team to eventually break up its Turner/Domantas Sabonis frontcourt.
  • The Nuggets discussed the possibility of trading Gary Harris, Malik Beasley, and Juan Hernangomez as part of a package for Bulls guard Zach LaVine or Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, sources tell Scotto. New Orleans set a very high asking price for Holiday, while LaVine was said to be “off-limits” for Chicago, so Denver didn’t get far on either front.

Andre Iguodala Still Elite In Riley’s Mind

Heat president Pat Riley isn’t worried about Andre Iguodala‘s age or the fact the veteran forward hasn’t played this season, as he told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald and other reporters. In fact, Riley took a different spin on Iguodala sitting out while waiting for the Grizzlies to trade him to a contender. Miami acquired Iguodala from Memphis in a deadline deal.

“He’s an elite defender, an elite team defender; an elite assist-to-turnover percentage. You don’t lose that in seven months,” Riley said. “Probably a blessing in disguise he didn’t play in seven months. He’s in shape. He’s definitely going to have to get his basketball legs under him. As long as he’s healthy he can play.”

Riley also touched on a number of other subjects:

  • He was unwilling to give Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari a guaranteed 2021/22 contract extension, which prevented a trade for the OKC forward. That supports an ESPN report earlier today. Miami wanted to protect its projected cap space for the summer of 2021, when several high-level players are expected to hit the free agent market. “I wanted everything. But I wasn’t going to … compromise a two-year plan,” Riley said, adding “I like Gallo. I think he would have fit in really well. “
  • Trading Justise Winslow to Memphis in a three-team deal that also included Minnesota was the hard part for Riley. Winslow has been injured most of the season. “I know he’s missed 150 games during 4 ½ years with us,” Riley said. “We’re going to miss him. The Memphis Grizzlies got a great young player.”
  • No decision has been made on whether to offer Derrick Jones Jr. a contract this offseason. Jones becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. “I like the fact he’s improved his three-point shooting,” Riley said. “Like the fact he’s become a better, more consistent defender. When that time comes we have a decision to make.”
  • The Heat will scour the buyout market for a rim protector, per Riley: “We will keep our eyes out. We are happy part of this transaction gives us the possibility of a buyout player later on.”

Heat Notes: Gallinari, Olynyk, Jones, Iguodala

For a few hours on Thursday, it looked as if the Heat would end up adding not just Andre Iguodala but Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari as well. However, Oklahoma City ultimately ended up not getting involved in the deal with Miami and Memphis that saw Iguodala, Jae Crowder, and Solomon Hill land with the Heat.

Like they did with Iguodala, the Heat were trying to complete an extend-and-trade deal for Gallinari, but the team’s desire to keep its 2021/22 cap sheet as clear as possible complicated those extensions talks. If the Heat had been willing to do an extension that was guaranteed through 2022, ESPN’s Zach Lowe believes they likely would’ve been able to acquire Gallinari without surrendering any of their key young players.

According to Lowe, talks between Miami and Oklahoma City focused on draft compensation. The Thunder already own the Heat’s top-14 protected 2023 first-round pick and wanted the protections lifted on that selection so that Miami could also trade its 2025 first-rounder to OKC.

As Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald explains (via Twitter), the Heat also probably could’ve acquired Gallinari without extending him, but they felt as if the risk of just renting the veteran forward for three months wouldn’t be worth the draft capital it would require.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • There was a belief that Crowder and Hill would be re-routed to the Thunder along with draft picks if Gallinari was involved in that Heat/Grizzlies swap. However, that may not have been the only scenario in play — David Aldridge of The Athletic hears from sources that Miami was also willing to discuss Kelly Olynyk and Derrick Jones in potential trades.
  • Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights provides some new info on Iguodala’s extension with the Heat, tweeting that the two-year, $30MM deal – which is worth a flat $15MM per year with a team option on year two – features a 7.5% trade kicker. If he’s dealt, that bonus would only apply to Iguodala’s non-option year, unless the option is exercised before the trade.
  • The Heat have newfound flexibility for the summer of 2020 after moving James Johnson and Dion Waiters. Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald explores possible paths Miami could take during the offseason, while cap expert Albert Nahmad of HeatHoops.com takes a more in-depth look at the financial situation facing the team as it considers its options for the next two summers.
  • Count head coach Erik Spoelstra among those impressed with what president Pat Riley has done to revamp the Heat’s roster over the last year, as Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today details. “He’s one of the great visionaries of this Association, and it never ceases to amaze me how he continues to reinvent and think differently,” Spoelstra said of Riley. “That’s what visionaries do. They think way bigger and much differently than we do.”

Heat Acquire Iguodala, Crowder In Three-Team Trade

7:10pm: The trade is now official, according to press releases from the Timberwolves, Heat, and Grizzlies. Minnesota became part of the deal by agreeing to acquire Johnson for Gorgui Dieng, as we outlined in a separate story, making it a three-team trade.

11:16am: The Grizzlies and Heat have agreed to a trade that will send Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder, and Solomon Hill to Miami in exchange for Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters, and James Johnson, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). No draft picks will be included in the deal.

Shams Charania of The Athletic (all Twitter links) first reported that Crowder, Hill, and Waiters would be involved in the trade, which broke last night.

There’s still time for the agreement to be expanded to include the Thunder and Danilo Gallinari, but those talks between Oklahoma City and Miami have “fully stalled,” according to Woj (Twitter link).

The Heat were hoping to fold an acquisition of the veteran forward into the trade, perhaps extending his contract in the process. However, Wojnarowski tweets that the Grizzlies and Heat are focusing on officially finalizing a two-team deal for now, with Miami still unable to reach an agreement for Gallinari.

Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald has heard similar rumblings, tweeting that Crowder and Hill could be re-routed to Oklahoma City if the deal is expanded to include Gallinari, but for now Hill is under the impression he’ll end up in Miami, along with Crowder.

Even if the Heat can’t land Gallinari, they’ll add three veterans capable of playing rotation roles in Iguodala, Crowder, and Hill. Although Iguodala hasn’t appeared in a game at all since being traded from Golden State to Memphis in July, he played key minutes on the Warriors’ championship teams in recent years and will be well-rested for the stretch run.

As we detailed in a previous story, Iguodala and the Heat have reached an agreement on a two-year, $30MM contract extension as part of the trade. The second season of Iguodala’s extension will reportedly be a team option, allowing Miami to retain its financial flexibility to participate in a loaded free agent class in 2021. The Heat are expected to guarantee the second season of Iguodala’s deal for if they miss out on their top free agent targets in ’21, per Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Crowder and Hill, meanwhile, have helped the Grizzlies exceed expectations and compete for a playoff spot this season. Crowder has started 45 games, averaging 9.9 PPG and 6.2 RPG and playing strong perimeter defense, while Hill has averaged 5.7 PPG with a .381 3PT% in 48 games (18.8 MPG).

The trade will also help the Heat out financially, since they’re sending out more money than they’re taking back. ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets that Miami is now $3.4MM below its hard cap and reduced its projected tax bill by nearly $3.7MM. That could allow the Heat to be a player in the buyout market, though the team still has a full 15-man roster.

The franchise also cleared a significant amount of salary for 2020/21 in the deal, though Iguodala’s extension cuts into that newfound flexibility a little.

As for the Grizzlies, they’ll take on three pricey multiyear contracts in exchange for their three expiring deals. Having also extended Dillon Brooks on Wednesday, Memphis has gone from having $50MM in projected cap room to likely being over the cap this summer, tweets Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights.

Winslow is the prize of the deal for Memphis. The former lottery pick is under contract for $13MM annually through 2021/22, with a team option on the final year. Winslow has flashed tantalizing upside as a ball-handler and defender, but injuries have limited him to just 11 games this season. He’s currently sidelined with a lower back bone bruise.

Johnson and Waiters are on oversized contracts — Johnson is earning $15.35MM this season with a $16.05MM player option for 2020/21, while Waiters is owed $12.1MM this season and $12.65MM next year. Memphis’ willingness to take on those deals signals that the team is willing to roll over its cap room to 2021.

Both Johnson and Waiters have spent much of the season in the doghouse in Miami, but Johnson has at least appeared in 18 games, averaging 5.7 PPG and 2.9 RPG on .448/.356/.571 shooting in 15.6 minutes per contest.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trade Deadline Notes: Bucks, Raptors, C’s, Heat, Thunder, More

The 2:00pm CT trade deadline has now passed, but word of last-minute deals can sometimes trickle in after the buzzer. That won’t be the case for the Raptors and Bucks though, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, who reports (via Twitter) that the Eastern Conference’s top two teams didn’t make a move today.

Here are more deadline updates:

  • It was a fairly quiet deadline for many of the top Eastern teams. The Celtics didn’t make a trade either, per Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link). And the Pacers also stood pat, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
  • The Heat were active earlier in the day, finalizing a trade to acquire Andre Iguodala. However, the team didn’t expand that deal to include Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald confirms (via Twitter). As Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald explains (via Twitter), the Heat’s extension talks with Gallinari were more of a hang-up than the trade talks with the Thunder, given Miami’s desire to keep its cap clear for 2021.
  • The Thunder, having held onto Gallinari, didn’t make any deadline deals, tweets Wojnarowski.
  • The Jazz stood pat today as well, tweets Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune. So did the Spurs, says Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).