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Danilo Gallinari Reportedly Drawing Interest from Mavericks Ahead of Free Agency

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2020

Oklahoma City Thunder's Danilo Gallinari plays against the Boston Celtics during an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March, 8, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The Dallas Mavericks have reportedly shown interest in signing veteran small forward Danilo Gallinari ahead of the start of NBA free agency next week.

According to SNY's Ian Begley on Saturday, sources on opposing teams expect Gallinari—who spent last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder—to sign elsewhere, especially if the Thunder trade point guard Chris Paul. The expectation is also that Gallinari will land with a contender.

The 32-year-old is among the best three-point shooters in the league and could be an asset to any contending team, including the Mavs.

Gallinari entered the NBA as the No. 6 overall pick by the New York Knicks in 2008, and while Begley noted there is some interest in the Knicks organization in bringing him back, it is unlikely unless they can convince him that they'll be a winning team in the near future.

Considering the Knicks went 21-45 last season and are in the midst of a seven-year playoff drought, that could be a tough sell.

Last year, Gallinari was part of the trade that sent guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and multiple draft picks from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Thunder for Paul George.

Gallinari had a successful season in OKC, averaging 18.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 2.9 three-pointers made per game. He also shot 43.8 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from long range.

The Italian star also isn't far removed from his best NBA season in 2018-19, when he averaged a career-high 19.8 points and 6.1 rebounds and shot a career-best 46.3 percent from the field and 43.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Although Gallinari has never been an All-Star, he has been an excellent supporting player on the offensive end at every stop during his 12-year career with the Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Clippers and Thunder.

Gallinari could be an ideal fit on a Mavericks team led by a pair of young stars in guard Luka Doncic and center Kristaps Porzingis. The Mavs went 43-32 and made the playoffs last season after missing out on the postseason in each of the previous three campaigns.

Doncic playing MVP-caliber basketball and Porzingis dominating inside contributed to their success, as did the fact that they ranked second in the NBA in three-pointers made per game with 15.1.

Gallinari would make them an even bigger threat in that regard and give Doncic an elite shooter to find while breaking down defenses.

It stands to reason that Gallinari will have no shortage of options given how valuable a great shooter is in the current NBA, but Dallas would have be enticing because of the opportunity to play alongside two of the best young stars in the sport.

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