Gallinari will opt out of his $16.1 million player option for the 2017-18 season and become an unrestricted free agent, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports.
Gallinari has yet to rule out re-signing with the Nuggets during free agency, but he's fully expected to command an even more lucrative contract as one of the top forwards available on the open market. The eight-year veteran and former first-round pick out of Italy is coming off a 2016-17 campaign that netted him averages of 18.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists across 33.9 minutes. Gallinari would offer a prospective team a player that can score consistently and effectively from all over the floor and his status as a well-known three-point threat, who shot 39 percent from deep last year, should bring around plenty of potential suitors.
With the Nuggets eliminated from playoff contention, the team will opt to give 28-year-old Gallinari the rest of the season off to get a better look at some of their younger guys. Gallinari will finish the year averaging 18.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists across 33.9 minutes per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 38.9 percent from beyond the arc. In his place, Wilson Chandler, Malik Beasley and Juancho Hernangomez will likely be the main beneficiaries of his absence.
Gallinari scored 34 points (12-20 FG, 4-9 3Pt, 6-6 FT) while adding 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals in 38 minutes during Sunday's 106-105 loss to the Thunder.
The 28-year-old Italian set a new season high for scoring, but his big effort was overshadowed by Russell Westbrook setting a new NBA record for triple-doubles in a season opposite him. Gallinari's inability to stay healthy remains an issue -- he'll fail to play at least 70 games in 2016-17 for the third straight season -- but when he's on the court he's proven to be an effective scorer for the Nuggets.
Gallinari posted 23 points (8-16 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 4-4 FT), five rebounds and three assists over 38 minutes in Wednesday's 110-104 loss to the Rockets.
Gallinari's overall health has hampered him in the second ha;f of the season, but he's catching fire at the right time, leading the Nuggets in scoring for the past three games. Denver is up against the wall in the playoff race, treading water in ninth place with only four games remaining, so the Nuggets will be pressing hard in the final week. Gallinari needs to keep producing at a high level, and his recent streak makes him an excellent DFS target Friday against the Pelicans.
Galinari scored 28 points (9-15 FG, 5-10 3Pt, 5-6 FT) and added five rebounds and three assists in 42 minutes during Tuesday's 134-131 win over the Pelicans.
For the second straight game, Gallinari led the Nuggets in scoring. Whenever he has been healthy this season, Gallinari has played big minutes. However, since Will Barton (foot) went down, Gallinari's minutes and scoring have gone up to compensate. There is a chance Barton returns as soon as Wednesday against the Rockets - if he does, Gallinari's production levels might return to their normal levels.
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