The Oklahoma City Thunder continue to find the proper replacement for Kevin Durant though they may have to whittle down their expectations to get back on track. Blake Griffin was previous speculated but snagging the slam-dunking forward may be easier said than done.
That said, the Thunder may have to make do with the available talent which could be a notch lower than Durant. One name does stand out – Danilo Gallinari – a prime target in NBA free agency 2017.
When compared, Gallinari pales in comparison to Durant though he is a proven scorer. His game continues to be on the upswing and he should put that on full display with the Denver Nuggets this coming season.
Worth noting is that Gallinari has a contract good for 2018. But the deal includes an opt-out clause for the Italian after this season, something he is expected to exercise to snag a higher pay check, FanSided reported.
Co-existing With Russell Westbrook
Before bloating the possibilities on Gallinari, there is the question on how he can blend in with Russell Westbrook. Being the main cog, Gallinari could be easily fed the ball from anywhere assuming he settles for outside jumpers.
At 28, Gallinari hardly seems to portray the player who would demand the ball. Everyone knows that Westbrook will want the ball in his hands throughout, meaning Gallinari could have limited touches, ESPN reported.
This is an entirely different scenario for the Italian who is seen as one of Michael Malone’s top guns. At his current level, it may not matter if Westbrook hogs the limelight. But what if Gallinari comes up with a break out year and proves he deserves to be the big dog for the Thunder or any team who could have him on their wish list?
Before anything else, Gallinari needs to prove he is sturdy as they come. Injuries are the low point in his career so that is another point to consider for Sam Presti and the Thunder organization.