Danilo Gallinari is up next in our Hawks player preview series. Gallo was signed by the Hawks as an unrestricted free agent on a 3 year $61.5 million dollar contract. He comes to the Hawks looking to bring a veteran presence to a young team and maybe even win sixth man of the year award. Let’s take a look at his career and what his expectations are this season.
Gallo hails from Italy where he began his professional career in 2004 at the age of 16. Gallinari made an impact in the EuroLeague in his age 20 season and declared for the 2008 NBA Draft shortly after. He was selected by the New York Knicks with the 6th overall pick and he signed a 2-year contract with them. Danilo has been in the league for 12 years now, and the Hawks will be the 5th team he has played for. His most successful stints were with the Clippers and Thunder.
Last season on in OKC, Gallinari averaged 19 points, 2 assists, and 5 rebounds per game with shooting percentages of 44/40/89. He’s currently approaching the late prime of his career and the Hawks are hoping he can replicate that scoring output he’s proven he can carry the last 3 seasons.
There are injury concerns. He tore an ACL in 2013 and has been hampered by injuries throughout his career where now he is sometimes labeled as an injury prone player. It’s a minor concern, however, given he has been relatively healthy the last 2 seasons — starting in almost every game.
In a somewhat surprising announcement when Gallo was signed, GM Travis Schlenk confirmed that Gallo will come off the bench and backup John Collins. In reality, this shouldn’t affect his scoring and output too much. Gallo should expect to receive anywhere from 25-30 minutes per game off the bench and do what he does best — get buckets. Gallinari is a proven scorer in the NBA with the ability to score at the rim, in the post, mid-range, and beyond the 3 point line. His size and length give him the ability to shoot over smaller defenders and he is quick enough to get around slow bigs.
Gallinari has a legitimate shot to win sixth man of the year this season. His signing did bring up a few questions involving John Collins.
Will Atlanta extend John Collins? They signed Gallo to a big deal, and they played DeAndre Hunter at the 4 last year. Onyeka Okongwu’s presence is notable as well. The Hawks have certainly bolstered their frontcourt, but one of these guys may have to leave town eventually.