Despite constant rumors about being waived or bought out, Danilo Gallinari is on track to be on the Washington Wizards roster when the 2023-24 season starts.
After being acquired from the Boston Celtics as part of the Kristaps Porzingis trade, the Italian forward’s future with the Wizards was uncertain. As Washington was preparing for a rebuild, whether holding on to the 35-year-old coming off a serious injury made sense was unclear.
With a post on his Twitter account today, Gallinari cleared the air about his future.
By posting a photo of himself in a Wizards jersey and declaring that he will be on the team to “guide and support” the roster, Gallinari suggests that he will be a Wizard for the foreseeable future. This likely means at least until the trade deadline. As Gallinari’s contract is expiring, there could be teams that want his services mid-season for a playoff push, depending on how he performs during the season following his ACL tear in the 2022 offseason.
This could be a beneficial relationship for both sides. The fact that the Wizards aren’t trying to compete next season could help Gallinari take his time finding his form in a stress-free environment. He will likely have a clear path to playing time and can perform better in limited minutes on a low-stakes team.
This, in turn, could help boost his trade value. If Gallinari can prove to be fully healthy in the first half of the season, the Wizards can receive a second-round pick or two in a potential deal at the deadline.
In the meantime, Gallinari can provide valuable experience and mentorship to the young Wizards team. He will be the oldest player on the team and has made the playoffs with four different teams. According to his post, he seems to be embracing this role as a veteran mentor on this team.
Even as a less athletic and mobile version of himself today, Gallinari is still a fantastic shooter who hit 40% of his threes in the last four seasons. This type of stretch big who can space the floor for his teammates is a valuable player even with his defensive shortcomings.
The Washington Wizards fans will enjoy the Danilo Gallinari experience. He is a good scorer, a great shooter, and a respected team player. Every young team needs players like him. Let’s hope he is fully back to his old self.