Danilo Gallinari #8 of the Denver Nuggets celebrates after hitting a three point basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the fourth quarter in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Danilo Gallinari isn't a restricted free agent for another two seasons, but he's looking forward to signing with the Denver Nuggets eventually.
Danilo Gallinari has been one of the Denver Nuggets' top players so far in this young but shortened NBA season, averaging 17.2 points and 4.9 rebounds over 11 games. Sustained production of that kind will certainly help the Nuggets stay within distance of the Northwest division leading Oklahoma City Thunder. It will also go a long way to netting Gallinari an extension in a season or two.
Before Wednesday's game, Gallinari told Fox Sports' Chris Tomasson that he sees his long-term future in Denver. But Gallinari isn't too concerned with when it comes:
"I'd like to be here," Gallinari said before Wednesday's game "If I can play here, it'd be great. ... If they give me an extension (before next summer), it's good. If not, I will wait until after the season."
Gallinari is under contract through the 2012-13 season for roughly $5.6 million that season. He will be a restricted free agent entering the 2012 free agency period. Gallinari mentioned Arron Afflalo's new contract since the shooting guard was a restricted free agent and re-upped with the Nuggets for five years and $43 million.