• In an expected move, Denver GM Tim Connelly said during a radio interview that Danilo Gallinari is likely to decline his player option and become a free agent this offseason.

    Harrison Wind of BSN Denver has more details, with Connelly on record as saying that the opt out is a safe bet. “That would be my assumption. I’d be extremely happy if Gallo didn’t opt out. But he’s got to be selfish and maximize his earning power.”

    It’d be a shock if Gallo didn’t opt out, given the continued ascension of the salary cap. A player of his abilities stands to make a boatload of dough as a guy who can stretch the floor while slotting into small lineups without much trouble. He’s taken a bit of a backseat in the headlines thanks to Denver’s tremendous young talent but has quietly posted strong numbers. He’s shooting .435 from the field and .392 from deep, both the highest marks since his rookie season, on his way to 17.3 points per night, which is also good for the second-highest mark of his career.

    He’ll surely test the market, but there are strong odds he’ll be back with the Nuggets either way. Gallinari has been vocal about wanting to stay in Denver, and the Nuggets have tons of cash to spend. At over $7 million below the cap floor, money won’t be an issue. As a terrific complementary piece who loves the city, it would be a shock if Gallo wound up anywhere other than Denver.

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