In an interview with Blitz Tv, that was published April 20, Danilo Gallinari said that he “would love” to re-sign with the Nuggets this summer. Gallinari is expected to decline his $16.1 million player option for the 2017-18 season and become an unrestricted free agent.
“The relationship between me, the city and the organization is great. This is the reason why I would love to reach an agreement to remain in Denver,” Gallinari said. “I love it here. And I would love to remain with the Nuggets.”
There’s no firm date of when that interview was recorded, but those comments line up with Gallinari’s general line of thinking over the past two seasons when his name has been brought up in trade chatter.
The 28-year-old, who will likely enter free agency for the first time in his eight-year career this offseason, hasn’t hidden his love for Denver over the past few seasons. Earlier this year, Gallinari said that he would “love to end his career in Denver,” and at his exit interview last week said that “it wasn’t the right time to make a decision,” yet, on if he’ll be back with the Nuggets but expressed how hard it would be to leave the city that he’s called home for most of his NBA life.
Gallinari is coming off the most prolific shooting season of his career and converted on 44.7 percent of his field goals and 38.9 percent of his threes, Gallinari’s best marks since his rookie season. The swingman also appeared in 63 games for Denver this year, the most he’s played since 2012-13.
The Nuggets’ front office is faced with a tough decision to make on Gallinari this summer. He’s sure to have his fair share of suitors throughout the league and Denver has to be mindful of the money they’re set to dole out to their own over the next few years. General manager Tim Connelly has been consistent that one of the organization’s top priorities this summer is to agree to an extension with shooting guard Gary Harris, a similar situation that they’ll find themselves in a year from now with Nikola Jokic. Denver also wants to bring back Mason Plumlee and would be smart to stay conservative this summer and grow from within.
Gallinari averaged 18.2 points and 5.2 rebounds in 33.9 minutes per game last season and holds all the cards this summer in terms of his new contract. Connelly will take a “wait and see” approach with Gallinari’s free agency over the next couple of months, per Altitude Sports.