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Report: Danilo Gallinari opts out of contract, will test free agency

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Gallo will be an unrestricted free agent - will he come back to Denver or leave for greener pastures?

Utah Jazz v Denver Nuggets Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported Tuesday that Danilo Gallinari will not exercise the player option in his contract for the 2017-18 season and will become an unrestricted free agent.

While some Nuggets fans may have held onto the hope that Gallinari would exercise his player option and return for one more season in Nuggets blue, most Nuggets fans realized that Gallinari would test the free agency market to secure what will likely be the largest contract of his career.

Gallinari averaged 18.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists this season for Denver, his seventh season in the Mile High City. Gallinari has played in 303 games for the Nuggets, and averaged 16.2 points mostly in a role as a scorer for the team.

Gallinari has played more than 70 games in a season once, and missed the 2013-14 season after a knee injury he suffered during the 2013 playoffs. That knee injury derailed the Nuggets season, and they lost to the Golden State Warriors in the first round, after which the organisation jettisoned Head Coach George Karl while General Manager Masai Ujiri left for the Toronto Raptors.

Nuggets fans were treated to a great Gallo performance in his final home game, against the Oklahoma City Thunder, where the Italian forward scored 34 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. For those watching, it certainly seemed like this could be the final time Gallinari took the court in Denver as a member of the home team.

Gallinari will have a $22,575,000 cap hold on the Nuggets salary cap, and will likely be signed to a similar dollar amount per year on his next contract. With his injury history, it would not be surprising to see him take whichever offer combines the highest money and years. It’s my guess that someone will offer him a four-year, $100 million contract - which will be the subject of the poll question for this article.

Gallinari has spoken highly of the city of Denver, and talked about his desire to play out his career in Denver. That, however, is not a certainty at this point.

Poll

Would you like to see Gallo come back to Denver?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Yes - whatever the cost
    (56 votes)
  • 51%
    Yes - but only for a hometown discount
    (329 votes)
  • 20%
    No - he’s too expensive/old
    (134 votes)
  • 18%
    No - time for a fresh face
    (121 votes)
640 votes total Vote Now