It’s difficult to find a team that boasts a better storyline than the Oklahoma City Thunder this season. After trading away Paul George and Russell Westbrook, they still remain in the Western Conference playoff picture.
The contributions of Danilo Gallinari have played an integral in the 24-19 record that the Thunder has posted over halfway through the season. He is posting averages of 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists while shooting 39.9% from deep on 7.5 attempts per game.
Getting too caught up in the feel-good factor is something that small markets do too often. It’s important the Thunder identifies that the future is where their best basketball lies and they should leverage their roster to maximize that.
Here are three reasons the Thunder should trade Danilo Gallinari before the Feb. 6 deadline:
3. Create More Opportunity For Young Players
There’s no denying the fact the Thunder has been one of the top storylines this season and Danilo Gallinari has a major hand in that. However, his 23.9% usage rate and 30.5 minutes per game could be applied to pieces that better align with the future.
While it’s easy to simply just say ‘give young players more chances’ it’s important to identify where that opportunity could end up going. The primary beneficiary would be Darius Bazley, the 19-year-old who went 23rd overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.
There is certainly a lot that Bazley needs to round out in his skill-set before he can come close to stacking up to the impact of a Gallinari. That’s why giving the rookie more opportunities to play through mistakes is a logical option, especially with a floor general like Chris Paul to simplify things.