Danilo Gallinari to the…. Clippers?

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Danilo Gallinari is a Denver Nugget. Right now.

Right now, anyway. He came to the Rocky Mountains from the Knicks in the deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to where the bright lights will inspire him.

But no source we spoke with expects the Nuggets to hang on to Gallinari. Maybe they should — he is a fantastic pure shooter and those don’t come along all that often. He takes half his attempts from beyond the arc and is hitting just 34.6 percent this season but is shooting 37 percent from deep from his career. Mike D’Antoni overstated the case calling him the as good a shooter as he’d seen, but Gallinari can be special.

There had been reports linking him to a trade to the Nets but those have been called into question.

How about the Los Angeles Clippers?

Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld said there is interest from Los Angeles, but…

Although sources say the Clippers’ interest is real, if the Nuggets are asking for more than multiple second-rounders or a well-protected first-round pick, LA would have serious reservations

That pick is actually not all that well protected, as ESPN’s Chris Broussard points out, it is the one they got from Minnesota — top 10 protected this season (and Minnesota will be drafting that high) but is unprotected next year. That is quite a pick, really, unless you think the Timberwolves are going to be good next season. Exactly.

Gallo with the Clippers? Perchance to dream…

That would be a tremendous fit — they need a three who can stretch the floor. Blake Griffin is dominating the front line and has a running mate in DeAndre Jordan. Eric Gordon is a two guard for the future. But the Clippers need a three. Ryan Gomes has the gig now but is really just a nice 15-minute a night backup. The Clippers are hoping that rookie Al-Farouq Aminu can develop into that three they want, and in the second half of the season he has started to show real improvement.

But he is not and will not ever be the pure shooter Gallinari is.

Gallo the Clipper probably not going to happen, but the idea makes the already interesting Clippers that much more fun.

Friday afternoon fun: Watch James Harden’s 10 best plays from last season

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James Harden had a historic season in Houston.

Since it’s Friday afternoon and your sports viewing options consist of watching guys about to be cut from NFL rosters try to impress, why not check out Harden’s best plays from last season. It’s worth a couple minutes of your time.

Mavericks sign Jeff Withey to one-year contract

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Jeff Withey‘s ex-fiancée accused him of domestic violence, but he was not charged.

That frees him to continue his basketball career, which he’ll do in Dallas.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Mavericks could use another center, even if they re-sign Nerlens Noel. Salah Mejri is the only other true center, though Dirk Nowitzki will now play the position.

Withey is a good rim protector. Just don’t ask him to do anything away from the basket.

Dallas annually brings excess players to training camp and has them compete for regular-season roster spots. Whether or not his salary is guaranteed, Withey will likely fall into that competition.

Marc Gasol: If Grizzlies don’t share my goal of continued growth, we might have to revisit things

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The Grizzlies’ Grit & Grind era has ended.

Zach Randolph signed with the Kings, and Tony Allen appears likely to leave Memphis, too. The Grizzlies are prioritizing younger/cheaper players like Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans.

Marc Gasol via Ala Carta, as translated by HoopsHype:

I’m very ambitious and I’ve wanted Memphis to be a great franchise. We’ve grown a lot the last 6-7 years, but we have to keep growing. If this is not lined up, maybe we may have to revisit things.

Gasol has been loyal to Memphis, and his first wish is probably winning there. But Giannis Antetokounmpo put it well: Teams must also do right by their players. Gasol is 32 and doesn’t have much time in his prime left. I see why rebuilding wouldn’t interest him.

But what will he do about it if the Grizzlies don’t prioritize the present? They made their push last summer with a max contract for Chandler Parsons, but because Parsons can’t stay healthy, that deal only inhibits team growth.

Gasol is locked up for two more years before a player option. He doesn’t have much leverage. This is part of the reason LeBron James keeps signing short-term contracts. Gasol doesn’t have the same ability to steer his team in his desired direction

On the potentially bright side, rebuilding teams often don’t have much use for 32-year-olds guaranteed more than $72 million over the following three years. If the fit devolves, Memphis becomes more likely to trade him.

Celtics to retire Paul Pierce’s number after Cavaliers game in February

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The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.

Now, we know when.

Celtics release:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11

After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.