Danilo Gallinari has been known as the Denver Nuggets’ best player ever since the Nuggets committed a robbery and shipped their disgruntaled star Carmelo Anthony to New York for what seemed to be half of the Knicks’ roster. I’m not going to go into all of the details of the trade but in the trade the Nuggets managed to get Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Anthony Randolph, Timofey Mozgov and the rights to swap picks with the Knicks. Gallinari lead the Nuggets to one of their best seasons ever as a franchise with 57 wins in 2012-13 but that same season he went down with a torn ACL and hasn’t looked the same since. Ever since coming back from his year and a half long rehab Gallinari has averages of
Although some if not most of his numbers have stayed the same, the rate in which his field goal percentage has regressed is alarming. At this rate Gallinari will never be a 40%+ shooter in a season which for someone with his usage and shot attempts at the rims is a concern. He has been labeled as the Nuggets leader and best scorer and if he in fact is the Nuggets are in serious trouble. His backup Wilson Chandler is averaging better numbers across the board this season which also points to Gallinari being expandable. At home this season Gallo is shooting 37% from the field and an abysmal 23% from the 3 point line.
The Nuggets have focused on changing their culture ever since getting rid of their troubled point guard Ty Lawson and drafting the young stud Emmanuel Mudiay with the 7th pick in the 2015 NBA draft and restructuring Gallinari’s contract to add more years was the first step. Both Gallinari and Wilson Chandler showed their appreciation for the organization by adding extra years to their contracts and Wilson even posted a heartfelt picture with a long caption on his Instagram account. Since then the Nuggets have been able to keep their players happy even though the culture change hasn’t translated to on court success. Players like Jameer Nelson, Mike Miller and Darrell Arthur have spoken kindly of the franchise and have decided to return with contract extensions. The Nuggets were even able to get positive words out of NBA Superstar Dwayne Wade as he openly said his destinations came down to his hometown Chicago or Denver.
Fellow Dig In Denver writer Vincent Garcia wrote an article as to why Wilson Chandler should be traded and although the points provided in the article make all of the sense in the world; right now Chandler is more valuable to the Nuggets than Gallinari and if Gallinari has any value in the league the Nuggets should look to exploit it. With his leadership and late game play, Chandler could be the player who can help Denver win the close games needed in order to gain confidence. The Nuggets would also open up playing time for their rookie Juan Hernangomez by trading Gallinari.
Do you think the Nuggets should trade their “star” player? Will it effect the teams culture? or will it prove the Nuggets are serious about winning?