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The Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers and Atlanta Hawks reportedly finalized the terms of a three-team trade Tuesday that will send Danilo Gallinari to L.A. in a sign-and-trade agreement and Jamal Crawford to Atlanta.
The trade will become official once the July Moratorium ends Thursday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Chris Vivlamore. Once it goes through, Denver can sign Paul Millsap to the three-year, $90 million deal it agreed upon with him over the weekend, per The Vertical’s Shams Charania.
Early Tuesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the sides were finalizing a three-way deal that would allow the Clippers to sign Gallinari to a three-year, $65 million contract. The Hawks will acquire Crawford, Diamond Stone and a top-three protected 2018 Houston Rockets first-round pick from the Clippers, while the Nuggets will receive a 2019 Washington Wizards second-round pick from Atlanta.
Gallinari’s desire to join the Clippers catalyzed the agreement. He met with Clippers brass over the weekend, who sold him on the team’s ability to compete in the cutthroat Western Conference despite Chris Paul‘s departure for the Houston Rockets. The Clippers just agreed to bring back Blake Griffin on a five-year, $173 million deal, per Charania, and Gallinari fits in the 3 spot they’ve needed to fill for years.
Wojnarowski reported Gallinari pushed to make the deal happen despite interest from the Boston Celtics.
Gallinari, who turns 29 on Aug. 8, had opted out of his player option for the 2017-18 season. He spent the last five-plus seasons with the Nuggets, averaging 18.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last year while shooting 38.9 percent from three-point range.
Denver thrived when Gallinari moved to the power forward slot next to Nikola Jokic. The Nuggets will look for an improved version of that setup next season with Millsap.
Crawford hopes to reach a buyout with the Hawks, according to Vivlamore, as they have begun a full-scale rebuild. He’ll be on the radar for a number of contending teams and could potentially come on the cheap.
From the Clippers’ standpoint, they’re still going to have a hard time competing at the top of the West. Paul unlocked nearly everything they did offensively, and Gallo’s arrival isn’t going to solve their Griffin-Jordan spacing problems.
At the cost of another first-round pick, it appears Doc Rivers and Co. are hoping to stay in the increasingly difficult playoff race.