UPDATE 1:05 pm: And just like that it is official — multiple sources are now saying the deal is official at four years, $42 million.
This is a good deal, both for Danilo Gallinari and the Nuggets. Gallo is not a max-deal guy, but he is a borderline All-Star and the kind of player at the heart of what Denver is building. About $10 million per year seems a fair price.
12:25 pm: Danilo Gallinari — the Italian scorer who came to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony trade — is close to a four-year extension to stay in the Rocky Mountains, reports the Denver Post.
The contract would be for four years, around $40 million total, the source told The Denver Post, locking in the player they call Gallo as he ascends for the powder blue — coach George Karl has previously said he thinks the Italian small forward can be an all-star someday.
The deadline for any extension to his rookie contract is Wednesday midnight (Eastern) or Gallinari would become a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
This seems like a good deal for both sides.
Gallinari gets an average of $10 million a year, the Nuggets lock up their leading scorer (17.4 points per game, boosted by that 39 he dropped on his old team the Knicks in Madison Square Garden), a guy who can play inside or out, is an efficient scorer and passes the ball well. Gallo is at the heart of the team-style of play the Nuggets are winning with right now and they should work out a deal to keep him.
This has got to put a damper on the whole DeMarcus Cousins trade thing for New Orleans Pelicans fans. According to multiple reports, Omri Casspi — who was part of the trade that sent Cousins to Louisiana — has broken his thumb. The sharp-shooting forward will be out 4-6 weeks.
It’s disappointing news for the Pelicans, who could certainly use Casspi’s 3-point shooting ability. Casspi is shooting 38 percent from deep this season, and while the Pelicans make enough threes per-game they are near the bottom-third in percentage.
Casspi would have been a real help for Alvin Gentry’s offense, but for now it appears they’ll have to make do without him. Casspi should continue to occupy a roster spot for New Orleans, given his expiring contract and the fact that even if the Pelicans make a run for the playoffs they won’t be in a situation to add to their lineup since they won’t expect to get very far.
The good news out of New Orleans on Thursday night? Despite a loss to the Houston Rockets, Cousins nearly dropped a 5 x 5.
The race for the No. 8 seed is on.
New York Knicks guard Courtney Lee should have known better than to try to dunk this. Everyone in the arena knew better than to try this on LeBron James.
Then again, if players stop trying to do things like this, we won’t get videos of incredible chasedown blocks by Mr. James.
It’s a real catch-22.
Actually, you know what? Keep it up. Keep trying this on LeBron. I want to keep watching dudes get rejected.
I’m getting tired of writing this story.
Or this one.
Or this one.
Draymond Green — an excellent basketball player who has an unstoppable, basal need to kick everyone near him — has once again let his feet do the talking.
Let’s take a look at the tape to see what sort of hijinks ol’ Dray has got himself into this time.
In the last nine months, Green has hit or kicked James Harden, Marquese Chriss, Kyrie Irving, Allen Crabbe, and Steven Adams (twice).
The league has decided not to act with any strength on most of the incidents, the most recognizable of which came when Green hit LeBron James in the NBA Finals, causing him to miss Game 5. At this point, there doesn’t seem to be any consequences for Green, which is the exact reason why we keep seeing him kick dudes.
It’s wack, I’m tired of seeing it, and you should be too. See you all here the next time Green kicks at somebody. I’m sure it won’t be before too long.
DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and the New Orleans Pelicans will take some time to mesh together. In his first game with New Orleans, Cousins saw a difficult opponent and massive deficits against the Houston Rockets. But there was some glimmers of hope.
Cousins, for example, had a productive statistical evening. The former Sacramento King put up 27 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and 4 blocks — just one swat shy of the rare 5 x 5.
Plus, he had this sweet block on Rockets star James Harden:
The Pelicans lost to the Rockets, 129-99, but it’s going to be fun to watch New Orleans battle it out for the 8th seed in the West.