Dallas is trying to walk a fine line this offseason. There are rumblings that the Mavericks want to be aggressive going after a star player to pair with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, one that can vault them to contender status now. At the same time, they want to preserve 2021 cap space because if Giannis Antetokounmpo decides to leave Milwaukee — still a big “if,” but the door is not closed — Dallas is reportedly at the front of the line to land the two-time MVP.
Per sources, some with the Mavericks have interest in pursuing Gallinari. The Mavs reportedly also want to conserve cap space for the summer of 2021. So the franchise would have to weigh that factor in any offers it makes to Gallinari.
Gallinari would fit well as a stretch four next to Doncic and Porzingis. In Oklahoma City, Gallinari averaged 18.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last season, shooting 40.5% from three.
Gallinari is one of the more interesting free agents to watch on the free agent market this season. He should get a contract in the $20 million a year range because of his skill set at a position of need around the league, but he’s also 32 and has an injury history. The only teams that could pay him what he deserves — Atlanta, Charlotte, Detroit — are not teams that need him or would spend that money on a win-now four.
Gallinari wants to play for a contender, but those teams either don’t have the money or, like Dallas and Miami, don’t want to tie up their 2021 cap space so they can go big game hunting (Antetokounmpo or others). Maybe Phoenix is the compromise for Gallinari — an improving team with cap space — or maybe OKC can find a sign-and-trade with a contender that works for both sides. There is a lot of interest in Gallinari out there, but contenders need to be creative to land him.
Dallas could be one of those teams. It’s something to watch as we move into free agency in less than a week.