How OKC Thunder can capitalize on Danilo Gallinari desire to join contender

Danilo Gallinari (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
Danilo Gallinari (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder, Gallinari (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Usage and health:

As per the above Gallinari producing at a high level will bode well for both the forward and the Thunder. A productive year by Gallo will draw the attention of teams and the better he plays the more teams that will have an interest. That, in turn, will give Sam Presti more leverage when he likely looks to move Danilo at the trade deadline.

For Billy Donovan, this also means he’ll need to manage Gallinari’s minutes in order to not tire him but put him in offensive situations to succeed and build up his desirability to suitors.

Last season Gallinari delivered and posted his highest points (19.8) and rebounds (6.1) per game of his career. Furthermore, his assists and 3-point shooting were close to career bests.

The caution here is Gallo has been hit throughout his career by ill timed injuries so keeping the 30-year healthy throughout his time in OKC is imperative. Granted, you can’t ever plan for injuries, but Donovan needs to be cognizant of his minutes with a view to allowing him to excel but not pushing his minutes where he might risk injury due to fatigue.

Doc Rivers played Gallo the least (30.3) minutes of his past four seasons and that may be a solid reason for his production increase.

Gallo missed the 2013-14 season recovering from his ACL injury, and his 68 games last season were the most games he has played since.  To that end, resting Gallinari in second nights of back to back games might be a wise choice.