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The Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers and Atlanta Hawks are reportedly working on a head-turning three-way trade.
On Monday, Shams Charania of The Vertical provided the breakdown of the deal and noted Danilo Gallinari would head to the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul Millsap to the Denver Nuggets and Jamal Crawford to the Atlanta Hawks:
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
Sources: Clippers, Hawks, Nuggets working on trade of Danillo Gallinari to LA/Millsap to DEN; Jamal Crawford/Diamond Stone/FRP to Atlanta.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Clippers would part ways with the first-round pick they landed from the Houston Rockets in the Chris Paul trade. The Nuggets would also receive a second-round pick from the Hawks, per USA Today‘s Sam Amick.
The trade news comes after Wojnarowski reported Gallinari was “leaning strongly toward” joining the Clippers, noting the team was working on a potential sign-and-trade with Denver so the forward could join Los Angeles on a three-year, $65 million deal.
What’s more, Charania reported Sunday Millsap had agreed to a three-year deal with the Nuggets worth $90 million.
The rapidly moving pieces between three teams had NBA fans struggling to keep up:
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
Reading all the tweets and piecing things together… https://t.co/7MWdnUTwHL
Bobby Marks of ESPN provided an explanation on how these moves may continue to develop:
Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42
With cap space shrinking, sign and trades could be the new way on how teams do business in free agency now and in the future.
One player who didn’t seem particularly thrilled to be heading from the Clippers to the Hawks was Crawford. Amick said the guard “has no plans to play in Atlanta,” which means “a buyout or a trade is considered necessary.”
Crawford appeared to be laughing about the situation:
Jamal Crawford @JCrossover
Sometimes all you can do is sit back and laugh..
As for the Nuggets, Nick Kosmider of the Denver Post said they “can theoretically create more financial flexibility for other moves” because they landed Millsap through this reported trade instead of as a free agent.
However Denver acquired him, he is coming off a career-best 18.1 points with 7.7 rebounds per game and will be a double-double threat. He and Nikola Jokic will be difficult for opposing big men to deal with, and he also adds a veteran presence to the Nuggets with 87 career postseason games under his belt.
Elsewhere, Gallinari is reportedly heading to the Clippers after Wojnarowski said they “made a strong impression” during their presentation and have “long coveted him.”
Gallinari has posted double-digit scoring totals every season of his career except when he was a rookie in 2008-09. He tallied 18.2 points per game in 2016-17 behind 38.9 percent shooting from three-point range after pouring in a career-high 19.5 points a night behind 36.4 percent shooting from deep in 2015-16.
Wojnarowski said the Clippers sold Gallinari on the notion of playing with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan in the frontcourt rather than living in Los Angeles. The threesome can create a number of matchup problems for opposing defenses that would need size to counter the Griffin and Jordan combination but enough athleticism to keep up with Gallinari on the perimeter.