OKC Thunder: Danilo Gallinari puts terms ahead of title chase by signing with Hawks

Danilo Gallinari #8 of the OKC Thunder drives against P.J. Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Danilo Gallinari #8 of the OKC Thunder drives against P.J. Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Danilo Gallinari is trading in his OKC Thunder jersey and heading to Atlanta to join the Hawks

Although Danilo Gallinari only spent a single season with the OKC Thunder he left a lasting impression. The power forward meshed with Chris Paul and his new teammates forming the Clutch Time Killers and delivered arguably his best professional season on record.

The Italian spoke glowingly of his time in Oklahoma City and of his teammates. He credited the youngsters for their work ethic, called Chris Paul the best leader he’s ever played with, and dished praise on both head coach Billy Donovan and front office executive Sam Presti.

During the past year and a half whenever Gallinari was interviewed his pending free agency would be raised. Each and every time Gallo stated his priority was winning a title. The 3-point sniper suggested winning would take precedence over dollars and term.

This narrative was mentioned so frequently (and as recent as this month) that many assumed the sign and trade option would be utilized in order to help Gallinari land on a winning club with a shot at contending. T.I. outlined several options featuring nine teams that OKC could help him land with.

Danilo Gallinari opts for Hawks instead of OKC Thunder sign and trade

As we noted, the Hawks were the one team in the mix who didn’t need to use a sign and trade to get the job done. Nor were they a team who fit Gallinari’s “title contender” mandate.

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Thunder fans might be disappointed Gallo didn’t take the sign and trade route but this signing makes a ton of sense for the power forward. At 32 he won’t likely get another long-term contract or break the $20M per year marker.

Adrian Wojnarowski who broke the news reports the deal is a three-year term for $61.5 million.

And, while the Hawks won’t likely be hoisting Larry O’Brien at the end of the season Gallo may be the roster piece that helps push them into the postseason for the first time in four years.

On the Hawks squad, Gallinari will offer his typical full set of skills, stretch the floor, continue to be an efficient 3-point sniper and perhaps most importantly offer wisdom and calm to a relatively young roster.

Hawks exec Travis Schlenk is being aggressive in bolstering his roster but the frontcourt is definitely filing up. Clint Capella was added last season, the Hawks have young big John Collins, and added Onyeka Okongwu in the draft. As per Marc Stein, they are also rumored to be actively pursuing Rajon Rondo and could be in the mix for Bogdan Bogdanovic.

Danilo might not have landed on a title contender but if the Hawks have their way they’ll be in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference.

Thunderous Intentions wishes you well in Atlanta Gallo, and offer our thanks for a wonderful season of memories.

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