We’re steadily approaching the official signing day of the 2017 edition of NBA free agency. Teams have been able to contact and negotiate with free agents since Saturday, but they cannot actually sign any of them until Thursday.
Until then, plenty of teams are busy making moves on the trade market. We’ve already seen marquee players like Jimmy Butler and Paul George moved, and we’re sure to see more moves made in the coming days.
We’re here to examine the latest trade chatter as we approach Thursday’s signing mark.
Clippers to Acquire Danilo Gallinari
The Los Angeles Clippers already made one big move this offseason, shipping standout Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets. The team did manage to re-sign Blake Griffin, though, so there is still core to build upon. One player the team is looking to add to the roster is Danilo Gallinari.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Clippers have been interested in Gallinari for a while:
In order to acquire Gallinari from the Denver Nuggets, the Clippers are looking at a three-team sign-and-trade deal that also involves the Atlanta Hawks, per Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times:
Gallinari is still on the underside of 30 (he’ll turn 29 in August), and he’s coming off a season in which he produced 18.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He’s the kind of player the Clippers can build around for the near future.
According to Wojnarowski, the Clippers are likely to have Gallinari for the near future, too:
Along with rookie Sindarius Thornwell, Gallinari would help give the Clippers a boost over the next couple of years.
This will be a new-look L.A. team now that Paul is out and Jerry West is on board as a team consultant. The Clippers have lost in the first round of the playoffs in three of the past five years, including each of the last two. Perhaps dealing Paul and adding pieces like Gallinari is exactly that the franchise needs to do in order to flip the trend.
Could Carmelo Thrive in Houston?
The New York Knicks are currently stuck with Carmelo Anthony and his massive contract—one that will pay him $54 million over the next two years. If they’re going to dump him and his salary, they’ll have to either agree to a contract buyout or get him to agree to a trade.
Anthony possesses a no-trade clause in his contract.
The Knicks can still trade Anthony. However, he’ll have to sign off on any potential deal. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Anthony would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to join the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Rockets.
The problem is that the Cavaliers don’t have a ton of tradable assets and the Rockets may not be the best place for Anthony.
Sure, Carmelo would probably enjoy playing for a team that also employs James Harden and Chris Paul. However, Houston’s coach is Mike D’Antoni, a man who didn’t have the best relationship with Anthony. Would the two be able to work together again?
Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News recently examined the potential situation:
“Their brief time together in New York was rife with friction. Just a couple months ago, D’Antoni revealed that he quit the Knicks in 2012 after Anthony told the Knicks they have to choose between him and the coach. But if they team up again with a trade, it would be under much different circumstances: with D’Antoni as the newly-crowned Coach of the Year and vindicated by the success of his speedball offense, and with Anthony as the aging scorer who was only an All-Star last year as an injury replacement.”
As Bondy pointed out, the situation in Houston would be quite a bit different than the one Anthony and D’Antoni saw in New York. Realistically, the pair should be able to coexist just fine while working to topple the Golden State Warriors in the West.
Knicks Won’t Be Dealing Porzingis
The Knicks might be able to move Anthony. They aren’t likely to be moving budding star Kristaps Porzingis.
While former team president Phil Jackson hinted that moving Porzingis was a possibility, he is out of New York and any plans he had are now moot. According to Ian Begley of ESPN.com, Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek doesn’t think trading Porzingis is still an option:
It makes a ton of sense for New York to want to hang onto Porzingis. He’s a 21-year-old big man (7’3″) with both offensive and defensive talent. Last season—his second in the NBA—he averaged 18.1 points per game, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.
Porzingis is a player the Knicks can build around, and he isn’t costing the team significant money. While Anthony possesses a bloated contract, Porzingis comes cheap. He’s set to earn just over $4.5 million next season and a little over $11 million in the two seasons after.
Trading Porzingis was never really a sensible option for New York. He’s a lot more proven than any future draft prospect and he’s more financially friendly than most seasoned veterans.
Hopefully, the Knicks are smart enough to completely squash all trade rumors now that Jackson is gone.
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