The Cleveland Cavaliers Reportedly Talked To Danilo Gallinari

The Cleveland Cavaliers Reportedly Talked To Danilo Gallinari

CLEVELAND, OHIO – JANUARY 31: Danilo Gallinari #12 of the Detroit Pistons reacts during the third … [+] quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on January 31, 2024 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Pistons 128-121. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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According to a new report from The Athletic, the Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly had conversations with veteran Danilo Gallinari about signing with the team.

Gallinari, per The Athletic, has agreed to sign with the Milwaukee Bucks after being waived by the Detroit Pistons last week. Per the story, the Cavs, the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers were among the other teams Gallinari and his camp talked to before signing with the Bucks.

Michael Tellem, Gallinari’s agent, told ESPN that he signed with Milwaukee because of the chance he could make an impact on the team’s frontline. In layman’s terms, Gallinari is going to actually play for the Bucks.

In a 16-year NBA career, Gallinari has played for the Pistons, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Washington Wizards. He also spent a year with the Boston Celtics, but never played in a game due an ACL year.

Gallinari has career averages of 15.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game while shooting 38.2% from field. This season with the Pistons and Wizards, he’s appeared in 32 games with averages of 7.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.

Had Gallinari signed with Cleveland, there’s a good chance he would be signed for depth and not signed to play rotation minutes. What Gallinari is at age 35 — a 6’10” forward who spaces the floor and an overall good offensive package — has value in the league still in the right circumstances. The Bucks are one such team considering their need to find shoot around Giannis Antetokounmpo.

What kind of player doesn’t fit where the Cavs are at right now. It’s more of a signing that would have fit the second-era LeBron James Cavaliers who were all-in on maximizing each year. Those teams relied on older veterans to fill out roster spots on an expensive roster. Think Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut-type signings.

The Cavs, as they exist now, could have used Gallinari as depth and at a low cost. But he isn’t someone who could have come in and played for them regularly barring injury. He wouldn’t take Evan Mobley’s spot in the starting lineup.

He also wouldn’t take Dean Wade or Georges Niang’s spots off of the bench as bigger, spacier forwards. Wade is a two-way player — Gallinari is not at this point his career, nor was he ever a plus defender — and offers overall more on offense than Gallinari does. Niang is a more one-to-one comparison to Gallinari. But Niang is younger, bulkier and has a little more to his offensive game than Gallinari at this point. Niang beloved in the locker room too.

So are the Cavs missing out by not getting Gallinari and seeing him sign with a rival at the top of the Eastern Conference? No. He will play for the Bucks, sure. Maybe he makes them better in some ways. But he’s also not someone good enough to crack the Cavs’ rotation. They aren’t missing out because they don’t need Gallinari while the Bucks do.

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