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Danilo Gallinari confirmed he plans to opt out of his current deal with the Denver Nuggets but added he’d be open to returning to the Mile High City.
“The relationship between me, the city and the organization is great,” Gallinari said in an interview with BlitzTV (via Sportnado’s Emiliano Carchia). “This is the reason why I would love to reach an agreement to remain in Denver. I love it here. And I would love to remain with the Nuggets.”
According to Spotrac, Gallinari is due to earn $16.1 million in 2017-18 should he exercise his player option.
The fact he wants to hit free agency doesn’t come as a surprise.
The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the salary cap is expected to rise from $94.1 million to $101 million next year.
Along with the cap increase, Gallinari’s injury history provides further incentive for him to earn the most he can now. The 28-year-old was out for the entire 2013-14 season, and in the three years since, he has missed 71 combined games.
Should Gallinari put off free agency another year, he’d risk potentially seeing his value drop as a result of further injury problems.
The nine-year veteran averaged 18.2 points a game and connected on 38.8 percent of his three-point attempts. Despite his durability concerns, Gallinari should be in a strong negotiating position this summer, and the Nuggets will almost certainly make every attempt to re-sign him since he’s the best power forward on the team.
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