Danilo Gallinari should be looking forward to free agency this Summer. At 31, he is having one of the best years of his career.
Gallinari is the Thunder's leading scorer with 19.2 points per game, his rebounds, shooting percentage, and three-point percentage are all above his career average. He's helping put Oklahoma City in position to make a run in the playoffs. Unfortunately for Gallinari and other free agents who are set to hit the market in a few weeks, this offseason may not be as lucrative.
According to ESPN Gallinari, Montrezel Harrell and Fred VanVleet, among others, will all likely fall short of receiving a max contract offer, and could have their salaries affected by the way they play in Orlando. For Sam Presti, this could be good news if he had any hope of keeping this team together, COVID-19 may have given him that opportunity.
The Thunder has made it no secret that there will come a time to rebuild; however, Presti has always said that the organization's number one goal is to compete at a high level. These things aren't mutually exclusive, but if you chose to rebuild and go young, there would be growing pains.
If Gallinari continues to light things up, there is a chance his price could be too high for Oklahoma City, even if he is under the max. But, an appearance in the Western Conference Semifinals could have Presti thinking about letting this roster run one more season.
If Presti believes this group of players can compete for a championship, then he will use his war chest of draft capital to fill in the holes while hanging on to Chris Paul and Gallinari. But, he can't let his emotions get in the way, and if he feels this is just a nice season but, ultimately, not sustainable, then he must do what's in the Thunder's best interest even if you have to part with fan favorites.