Report: Danilo Gallinari Expected to Be Waived by Spurs; Celtics, Heat, Bulls Linked

Erin WalshJune 30, 2022

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 26: Danilo Gallinari #8 of the Atlanta Hawks dribbles against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round at FTX Arena on April 26, 2022 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

After being traded to the San Antonio Spurs in the deal that sent Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks, it appears Danilo Gallinari will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The Spurs are expected to waive Gallinari, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. He is interested in joining the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat or Chicago Bulls on the mid-level exception, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin.

Gallinari was expected to earn $21.45 million during the 2022-23 campaign after signing a three-year, $61.4 million deal with the Hawks ahead of the 2020-21 season. Now that he's being waived, he'll likely have a lower salary for the upcoming campaign.

The 33-year-old Italian was selected by the New York Knicks with the No. 6 pick in the 2008 NBA draft. He spent two and a half seasons with the franchise before being traded to the Denver Nuggets, where he spent the next six and a half seasons.

Gallinari then found himself with the Los Angeles Clippers and then with the Oklahoma City Thunder before agreeing to a deal with Atlanta, where he played the last two campaigns.

The veteran forward had played a solid role off the bench for the Hawks. During the 2021-22 season, he averaged 11.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 66 games while shooting 43.4 percent from the floor and 38.1 percent from deep.

Gallinari would fill a significant need for the Celtics in 2022-23 as the franchise doesn't necessarily need to alter its starting lineup. While Boston reached the 2022 NBA Finals, it lacked depth off the bench, which put more pressure on starters Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart.

Gallinari would undoubtedly help with both bench scoring and playmaking. However, Boston will also need to make a number of other additions this summer if it wants to return to the finals.

As for Miami, Gallinari could prove to be a solid replacement for P.J. Tucker, who opted out of his contract with the Heat. He would mimic Tucker's three-point efficiency and would also be a solid defensive presence for the franchise.

Adding another big defender like Gallinari, who is 6'10" and 233 pounds, could help Miami match up better with teams like the Celtics, who took advantage of the team's lack of size in the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals.

Chicago could also use a player like Gallinari for his three-point efficiency and presence around the glass. He checks a lot of boxes for the Bulls off the bench and also has experience with both Arturas Karnisovas and Billy Donovan.