Strengths: Scoring, stretching the floor, pick-and-roll
Weaknesses: Rim protection, rebounding
Key Statistics: 19.2 points per game, 40.9 percent 3-point shooter
How he fits with the Pelicans:
With rookie Zion Williamson taking up most of the space in the lane, the New Orleans Pelicans need players who can stretch the floor.
While Melli has provided occasional 3-point shooting from the power forward position, Danilo Gallinari would be a huge upgrade, as he is more consistent and can do a lot more with the ball.
Gallinari is an accomplished scorer from just about anywhere on the floor, whether it is knocking down 3-pointers like he does here:
Or running off screens on his way to the rim as he does here:
Gallinari and teammate Chris Paul have formed one of the most unstoppable pick-and-roll tandems in the league, as the New Orleans Pelicans found out in a recent 123-118 loss to the Thunder.
Gallinari had 29 points in the win over the Pelicans, scoring from all over the floor and stretching the Pelicans’ defense.
This is exactly what he could do for New Orleans, as he would be the perfect player to run pick-and-roll with Lonzo Ball while allowing Zion to roam free in the lane.
Gallinari would allow the Pelicans to play Zion at the five at times, which would increase their pace and make them almost impossible to stop offensively.
A lineup featuring Jrue Holiday, Ball, Ingram, Gallinari and Williamson would have almost endless offensive possibilities and create mismatches all over the floor.
Gallinari won’t be cheap, and though he is already 31, he may still be looking for one last big contract and some team may just give it to him.
Gallinari makes $22.6 million this season, so it will be interesting to see how his free agency plays out.
The Pelicans may not have the cap space to sign Gallinari, even if they let Derrick Favors and the rest of their free agents walk.
Money aside, Gallinari could make the New Orleans Pelicans the best offensive team in the NBA and would be a great addition if they can find a way to make it work.
Check Pelicans Debrief regularly for more New Orleans Pelicans’ content during the shutdown, including Part 2 of our free agent series. Stay safe out there, folks!
For more information about COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.