Could the New York Knicks Reunite With Danilo Gallinari? 2
Feb 7, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari (8) shoots over New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) during second half at Madison Square Garden. The Denver Nuggets defeated the New York Knicks 101-96. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Former Knick Danilo Gallinari opted out of his contract with the Denver Nuggets.

When negotiating a trade to acquire Carmelo Anthony back in 2011 the Knicks were hesitant to include former sixth overall pick Danilo Gallinari in trade packages. The Knicks eventual chose to include Gallinari in the deal for Anthony and the rest is history. Fast forward six years later and the man fans know as “Gallo” could replace the man who originally took his spot in New York.

The Vertical announced on Tuesday that 28-year-old has chosen to opt out of his deal with Denver.

The Nuggets will have Gallinari’s bird rights and will be able to offer him more than any other team can. Gallinari has had too impressive seasons under former Knick assistant Mike Malone. In two seasons with Malone he has averaged 18.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. The question is, will Denver break the bank for a player who has missed 71 games over the past three seasons and missed the entire 2013-2014 season with an ACL injury?

The question also remains if this were to happen, would the Knicks break the bank to replace Carmelo Anthony?

Like it or not, the Knicks are going to be using the triangle offense more than they did this season. Knicks President Phil Jackson will not stop until his team perfects this out of date offense.

Kristaps Porzingis, despite needing to escape the post to work on other facets of his game, could, and likely will, be pushed into the post for the sake of the triangle. The Knicks will be looking for a good three point shooter who finishes well coming off of off-ball screens. Gallinari would, in theory, make for a good fit in this offense. As a matter of fact, he already has some triangle experience. Gallinari played 59 games under coach Brian Shaw, a triangle enthusiast.

Gallinari shoots an impressive 43 percent shooter on corner threes. Imagine this: The ball is swung into the post by Gallinari to Porzingis, a screen is set on Gallinari as he cuts to the corner, and Porzingis makes a decision to make the pass for an open three or work the post himself.

Additionally, Gallinari is shooting fifth best among guards on drives (minimum 1 FGA) at 56 percent. Actions in the triangle screening for Gallinari to cut to the rim will take place a ton in this offense and he has the ability to finish these opportunities.

This is obviously a simplification of the triangle and only two facets of the offense, but nonetheless examples of how Gallinari would fit into this system.

Despite being a fit in this system, money will put the Knicks in a bind if looking to reacquire Gallo. The Knicks only have $20 million to work with this offseason, the same amount Gallinari will be seeking annually. Justin Holliday, a revelation for the Knicks this offseason, would almost certainly be forced to leave New York due to cap restrictions.

The team would look similar to last year’s 31-win squad. The starting lineup would be the same, replacing Anthony with Gallinari and Derrick Rose with a rookie point guard, assuming New York takes one. However, depth will be even more of an issue with Holliday being ousted and New York not being able to fill the roster out with more than veteran minimum players.

Gallinari would be an excellent fit in New York’s offense. It is just a matter of will Denver let him leave and if New York would use all their cap space on him.

 

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