The Los Angeles Clippers have completed a deal that lands them free agent forward Danilo Gallinari by way of a three-team trade with the Denver Nuggets and the Atlanta Hawks, people with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been finalized.
The three teams spent much of Monday working on the structure of the deal, with more to be done on Tuesday morning before it was agreed upon. Gallinari will go to the Clippers via sign-and-trade from the Nuggets on a three-year, $64.6 million deal, the Clippers will send three-time Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford, 20-year-old center Diamond Stone, a 2018 first-round pick and cash considerations to the Hawks, and Atlanta will send a second-round pick to the Nuggets.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution first reported the trade's completion.
The 28-year-old Gallinari had hoped to return to Denver, but the Nuggets signed free agent forward Paul Millsap to a three-year, $90 million deal and the Clippers went to great lengths creating the kind of salary cap space to offer the kind of contract he was seeking. The Clippers are retooling after losing point guard Chris Paul last week, when the nine-time All-Star opted into the final year of his contract and was traded to Houston after making it clear to the Clippers that he wanted to play for the Rockets.
Gallinari averaged 18.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last season for the Nuggets, who finished 40-42 and missed the playoffs by just one game. With point guard Pat Beverley having joined the Clippers from the Rockets and five-time All-Star forward Blake Griffin having agreed to return on a five-year, $175 million deal, the Clippers are wasting no time moving on.
For the Hawks, the decision not to re-sign Millsap was the driving force behind this trade and yet another sign that first-year general manager Travis Schlenk is looking to rebuild Atlanta’s roster. Crawford isn’t likely to be a part of the program, however, as a person with knowledge of his situation said he doesn’t intend to play for the Hawks and is expecting to either be waived, traded, or bought out.
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