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NBA Rumors: Phoenix Suns Interested in Veteran Forward

Dec 21, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Washington Wizards power forward Danilo Gallinari (88) arrives to the arena prior to the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Just hours after signing long-time NBA veteran Thaddeus Young, the Phoenix Suns have reportedly shown interest in adding another forward to their frontcourt, per the latest rumors. According to Duane Rankin of Arizona Republic, the Suns are interested in Danilo Gallinari.

Gallinari began the 2023-24 season with the Washington Wizards. In January, the Wizards traded Gallinari to the Detroit Pistons, where he played six games before the team waived him. On the season, the 6’10” forward is averaging 7.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Furthermore, Gallinari is shooting 45.1% from the field, including 35.5% from beyond the arc.

The 31-22 Suns had two open roster spots before signing Young. Now, it appears Gallinari is an option to fill the last spot.

NBA Rumors: Phoenix Suns Interested in Veteran Forward

Danilo Gallinari’s Potential Fit With the Phoenix Suns

After acquiring Royce O’Neale and David Roddy at the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline, Phoenix’s wing rotation may be set. However, with the recent signing of Young, it seems the Suns are looking to add veterans. While Gallinari would likely not be a mainstay in the Suns’ rotation, he provides depth and perimeter shooting. Additionally, Gallinari spoke about being “a good vet” while in Detroit:

It’s my 16th season. I’m 35, so more likely than not, my teammates are going to be younger than me…just trying to help everybody out, be a good vet, give advice and make sure I make their path is a little smoother.

Though Gallinari is not the same player he was even just five years ago, he can still play quality basketball. Though it was a small sample size, the Italian native shot 58.3% from the three-point line during his stint with the Pistons. Ultimately, Gallinari can help Phoenix stretch the floor when needed.

Who Else Has Shown Interest in Danilo Gallinari?

Per other reports, the Suns are not the only team keeping an eye on Gallinari. The other teams keeping an eye on the 35-year-old are the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.

The Lakers are a team looking to make a second-half push. In what could be LeBron James‘ final season in L.A., the 28-26 Lakers are on the outside looking in pertaining to the postseason. Though Gallinari himself would not move the needle, he can fit in as a three-point specialist for the Lakers, who currently rank 16th in the league in 3pt%.

On the flip side, Gallinari potentially signing with the Celtics is an interesting hypothetical. In the 2022 offseason, Gallinari signed a two-year, $13.3 million deal with the Celtics. However, the forward suffered a torn ACL before the season began, causing him to miss the entire 2022-23 NBA season. Last summer, he was included in a package deal that sent Kristaps Porzingis to Boston.

NESN’s Gio Rivera wrote about why a Gallinari-Celtics reunion makes sense for both sides:

Similar to Al Horford’s past situation with the Oklahoma City Thunder a few years back, Gallinari doesn’t have much of a purpose for a team that isn’t in a position to contend. Whereas on a team like the Celtics, his minutes off the bench would be much more valuable, especially once the playoffs begin.

Gallinari most likely will not be on a basketball court again until after the All-Star Break. Still, it will be worth monitoring his status for the next few days to see where the 16-year NBA veteran ends up.

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