The Carmelo Anthony trade last night, a three-team, 12-player (plus three draft picks and $3 million in cash) blockbuster was the first domino to fall in the trade season. The 2011 NBA trade deadline is looming this Thursday, and one of the players who went from the New York Knicks to the Denver Nuggets, Danilo Gallinari, has reportedly garnered interest from the Los Angeles Clippers. ESPN's Chris Broussard reported this morning that the Clippers are offering their biggest trade chip to the Nuggets, their first round pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The pick from Minnesota is top-10 protected in 2011, but unprotected in 2012. It was acquired way back in August 2005 in one of the greatest trades in Clippers history; they received Sam Cassell and said draft pick for Lionel Chalmers and Marko Jaric. Gallinari, a 22-year old, 6-foot-10 forward from Italy, is averaging 15.9 points per game this year, his third season in the NBA. Steve Perrin of Clips Nation analyzed Gallinari earlier today:
I happen to like Gallinari a lot. It's dangerous to get enamored of a player based on what he's done against one team, but Gallo has had a couple of nice games against the Clippers, including a 31 point effort earlier this season. His overall numbers may not be too great - in particular, he's a terrible rebounder for his size - but he passes the eye test for me. He has great instincts for the game, and all the tools to be a terrific scorer. He can shoot, he can drive, and he gets to the line a lot, and converts when he gets there. I also like his defense - he actually defended Eric Gordon at times during the Clippers first meeting with the Knicks this season and did a respectable job, so I don't happen to agree with those that say he can't defend NBA small forwards, based on what I've seen. I like him a lot better at 40% three point shooting than at 35%, so his poorer perimeter shooting this season is a bit of a concern, but his stroke certainly looks pure.