According to Adrian Wojnarowski of TheVertical.com, Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari will opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
The move doesn’t come as a huge shock, as it has been rumored for a while that the Nuggets might have to find a replacement for their high scoring forward. His option for the 2017-18 season is worth $16.1 million, and by opting out he will become one of the more sought after free agents in 2017, so he could command more dollars than he would have made under this deal.
Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly has expressed interest in keeping Gallo around, but they also might look to spend their money on a better defensive player with other potential high scorers on the roster like Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic.
Gallinari has been a great teammate and scorer during his time in Denver, but injuries have kept him off the court for long periods of time, so it could be beneficial for the Nuggets to move away from the 28 year old. At the same time, Gallo knows that another injury could cost him a lot of money down the road, so he could be in the looks for some security in a multi-year deal.
The Nuggets could look at a younger Gordon Hayward or a more defensive forward like Paul Millsap to replace Gallinari. All three of them look to be among the best available forwards in free agency this summer.