The Phoenix Suns’ name as come up in recent NBA trade rumors as a team who might have interest in Danilo Gallinari. To put it simply, they should pass.
Amidst the rumor buzz in a recent Bleacher Report article that discussed the LA Clippers’ desire to work out a trade for Aron Baynes, the Phoenix Suns came up as possible suitors for Danilo Gallinari.
In fact, it sounded like more than just wild speculation.
"Instead, Phoenix is looking to add to its roster. Kevin Love could be a possibility, but the team is believed to have more interest in Oklahoma City Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari."
The former sixth overall pick has bounced around throughout his 11 years in the league, but he currently finds himself in his first season with the Oklahoma City Thunder after being packaged in the Paul George trade.
Gallinari is 31 years old and in the last year of his contract that pays him $22.6 million. In order to get him, the Suns would need to trade Tyler Johnson and probably a first round pick.
"“Not many teams will have cap space next summer. The Suns probably would be able to re-sign Gallinari at a much better price,” one Western Conference executive said. “There’s uncertainty, especially if they give up a first-rounder, but the difference in price would make Gallinari the better target.”"
Giving up a first round pick just doesn’t add up if the Suns aren’t trying to make a serious run this year. They’d have to make this trade with the hope they could re-sign Gallinari at a much more reasonable price point next year. That is a big risk.
From a basketball standpoint, Gallinari would certainly be an upgrade over Tyler Johnson, who isn’t even really playing anymore, making it fairly clear at this point his time in Phoenix is short-lived. However, since Gallinari primarily plays as a stretch power forward, he would also be an upgrade over Dario Saric.
Saric is fine and all, but he is more of a quality backup than an everyday starter, which is where the Suns have used him.
Gallinari is averaging just over 18 points per game, which is two better than his career average. While he has proven himself to be a good scorer, at 6’10” he doesn’t exactly crash the boards. He is averaging just over five rebounds per game, but considering Saric only averages seven, the Suns can almost call that wash.
Still, outside of a few more wins this year, forking over a first round pick on the hope he might re-sign for a much cheaper deal is simply not worth it for a team trying to build for the future.