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Report: Nuggets want to extend Danilo Gallinari’s contract

Ambassadors - Expo 2015

MILAN, ITALY - JUNE 03: Danilo Gallinari Ambassador of Expo 2015 and basketball player of Denver Nuggets posing with Foody the mascot of Expo 2015, during the Expo 2015 on June 3, 2015 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)

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The Nuggets just re-signed Jameer Nelson. They extended Wilson Chandler’s contract. Despite rumors, they have not traded Kenneth Faried.

Is Denver – with the probable exception of Ty Lawson, who could be replaced by the talented Emmanuel Mudiay – keeping the band together?

Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post:

they’d like to open talks on an extension for Danilo Gallinari as well, according to a league source.

Gallinari is slated to earn $11,559,225 next season. Unless the Nuggets clear cap space, they can’t renegotiate-and-extend, as they did with Chandler.

The most Gallinari could make in an extension is $40,074,388 three years. But that would mean the Nuggets can’t trade him for sixth months.

If they extend him for up to $24,702,353 over two years, they could trade him immediately.

To a certain degree, this might be about seeing what new coach Michael Malone can do with a talented roster. Denver’s front-office staff surely believes it assembled a strong group.

But it could also be about increasing Gallinari’s trade value. Teams should value him more highly if he’s not a pending free agent. His name has been on the rumor mill, including reports of recent talks with the Celtics.

For Gallinari, an extension provides security. He has had injury issues, and playing out next season without a long-term deal carries risk. But I think he’d get more as an unrestricted free agent in 2016, when the salary cap skyrockets. The forward played exceptionally well late last season.

This will come down to just how much Gallinari wants to gamble on his health. The Nuggets should be willing to offer his max extension – even that puts trade possibilities on hold. There’d be plenty of time to deal him January if they so desire.