Miami Heat Rumors: Other suitors emerging for Danilo Gallinari

Danilo Gallinari #8 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in action against Reggie Bullock #25 (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Danilo Gallinari #8 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in action against Reggie Bullock #25 (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat and Danilo Gallinari have mutual interest in free agency, but other suitors are emerging that could offer a more lucrative deal.

What was once a potential trade deadline acquisition has turned into a free agency chase for Pat Riley and the Miami Heat front office.

After their deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder for Danilo Gallinari fell through at the deadline, it was expected that the two sides would reconvene in free agency.

But a recent interview with NBA TV suggests that the 31-year old forward would be open to a return to the New York Knicks, the very club that drafted him back in 2008.

The Knicks’ situation is hardly enticing, but what they do have is cap space. New York is one of few teams with the room to offer a maximum level contract in the offseason.

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This potential scenario was only amplified when SNY’s Ian Begley reported early on Friday that the team would prioritize a big man who can knock down shots in free agency:

"“If the Knicks decide to look for a forward via free agency who can shoot, Danilo Gallinari, Carmelo Anthony and Christian Wood are potential options.”"

Heat fans will remember that the deadline deal for Gallinari fell through when the two sides couldn’t agree on a extension, because Miami is prioritizing their cap space for the 2021 offseason.

They’ve been linked to big names like Giannis Antetokounmpo who will command every penny of a max salary. This is exactly why fans should be paying more attention to the Knicks as a potential suitor for Gallinari. His contract this summer will likely be the last weighty deal of his career.

If New York can offer long-term security and a larger pay raise, why would he say no? Miami represents another chance at a championship, but it’s clear Gallinari is thinking about his future.

Danilo Gallinari has been an All-Star caliber player with the Thunder this season. He’s averaging 19.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 55 starting appearances for the team.

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If he and the Miami Heat still have interest in a deal this offseason, it’ll take one of the two sides compromising on their very obvious priorities. As more suitors begin to emerge for the free-agent-to-be, either the Heat or Gallinari will have to give in if a partnership is to be formed.