While NBA free agency is up and rolling, the Washington Wizards have been fairly quiet. But they did make a good move before it started. Just a week before the moratorium period began, they acquired power forward Danilo Gallinari from the Boston Celtics in a three-team trade involving the Memphis Grizzlies.
When the trade went down, fans in the DMV area went in an uproar on social media. Because the Wizards lost one of their top scorers in Kristaps Porzingis, the fans were highly disappointed. Not to mention, Gallinari was already recovering from an unfortunate ACL injury that kept him sidelined for the entire 2022-23 season.
But, in hindsight, the Wizards should plan on keeping the Italian sharpshooter for the long haul.
Even thoughKyle Kuzma elected to stay in DC, and they still have Deni Avdija, they could still use an extra big body in Gallinari. With Porzingis now in Boston, the Wizards are missing the player who was the most effective in the paint. Gallinari can replace him by using his large frame to back down his defenders in the paint, most likely resulting in hook shots or fadeaways.
Danilo Gallinari can also contribute offensively in other areas for the Washington Wizards
He is an excellent 3-point shooter for a player his size. When his shot isn’t falling in the post, he can catch and shoot those wing 3-pointers at a decent rate. This floor spacing can come in handy for the Wizards when their guards are looking for drives to the rim to collect easy points. Due to his high shot release, it can be almost impossible for some defenders to guard him without fouling.
As for as Gallinari’s defense, he struggles in that area from time to time but has improved in the recent years.
He isn’t the type of player who is going to go out every night and log in a handful of steals and blocks. But he is very good at contesting shots and preventing his opponents from getting easy points.
Defense was another aspect the Wizards struggled with all season long. As a team, they lacked the defensive pieces needed to make an impact.
The best defenders they had were arguably Delon Wright and Porzingis, who is obviously gone. The newcomers on the team, Tyus Jones and Mike Muscala, offer very little on defense. As for their draft pick Bilal Coulibaly, he was a superior defender for the Metropolitans 92 team in France. But, of course, the NBA is on a totally different and higher level.
Just like every NBA player, Gallinari has an Achilles heel (no pun intended, of course).
His is the inability to stay healthy. Aside from the ACL injury he is currently recovering him, he has dealt with other unavoidable injuries to his body for a good part of his career.
During his early years with the Denver Nuggets, he dealt with ankle injuries and even had to miss another full season because of an ACL injury.
When a player suffers injuries like those, it could raise questions about his duration on the court. But he has proven time and time again that he can bounce back from those injuries in a major way. Let’s see if he can do the same with the Washington Wizards.