Danilo Gallinari taking rumors in stride
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari feels comfortable in the Big Apple. So much so that he says it would be "tough" to leave the only city he's called home during his three-year NBA career.
But that's a reality Gallinari may face in the coming days; the 22-year-old sharpshooter is a major piece in the package the Knicks have offered to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for superstar Carmelo Anthony.
"Well, to be honest with you, it's tough to leave New York," Gallinari said after practice on Monday afternoon when asked about the possibility of being traded. "It's tough but it's a part of the NBA life and it's a part of how the NBA works so you've got to deal with that."
In the Knicks' current offer, they would send Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler and a first-round pick to Denver, sources told ESPN.com. They would also send Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph to Minnesota. The Nuggets, who would send Anthony, Chauncey Billups and a to-be-determined reserve player back to the Knicks, are pushing for New York to add seven-foot center Timofey Mozgov to the package.
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Mozgov said on Monday that the team has told him "nothing" about his status.
"All I know, I know from the newspapers," the 24-year-old said.
The constant Anthony trade saga seemed to be wearing on the Knicks on Monday.
Felton, normally one of the most accessible Knicks, left the court without speaking to reporters. So did Chandler. Team president Donnie Walsh, who normally sits courtside during the open portion of practice, wasn't around on Monday.
Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni believes his players are tense after watching the constant stream of trade rumors reported over All-Star weekend.
"I'm sure they are really on edge. No doubt about it, as everybody else is," D'Antoni said. "You have to be. I was talking to Raymond before. His phone blew up over the weekend. And that's part of the business now. It's not great but we'll deal with it."
D'Antoni did not want to address a question about potentially losing three of his starters in a trade.
"We're preparing for Wednesday like normal. I think everybody's waiting the next three days to see what happens. To see if it's cosmetic, to see if it's big, to see whatever," the third-year coach said. "So we're ready for anything, but we do business as usual."
D'Antoni spent the weekend in New York but says he has been in touch with Walsh and Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan, who met with Anthony in Los Angeles last Thursday.
"We always talk. We'll always meet, come together with conclusions. It's a fluid situation," the coach said. "And you touch base, but that's it. I'm sure everybody will be on board, [as] always, with everything that we do. That's the way it's been done the last three years."
According to reports, Dolan has sought the advice of Isiah Thomas, a former Knick executive and coach, as much, if not more than Walsh, during the Anthony saga. In a joint statement released on Sunday, Dolan, Walsh and D'Antoni insisted that they are all on the same page and downplayed any "outside" influence on the organization's decision-making.
"We want to make it abundantly clear that we have been in constant communication throughout this process and the three of us are in complete agreement with everything that we are currently working on," the statement read. "Together, we will do what is best for the long-term success of the franchise. In addition, we want to make it clear that no one from outside our organization has been involved in this process in any way. We will have no further comment at this time."
A report by ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard on Monday morning suggested that the Nuggets could trade one or more of the pieces they receive from the Knicks to the New Jersey Nets. New Jersey is also making a strong push to land Anthony. The Nets and Nuggets have reportedly come to an agreement on the parameters of a trade for Anthony and are waiting on Anthony to decide if he is willing to sign a three-year, $65 million contract extension with the Nets.
Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov said on Sunday that he had a "fantastic" meeting with Anthony over the weekend.
Gallinari, along with Mozgov, was mentioned in the report as a player the Nets would be interested in, if the Knicks deal him to Denver.
When asked about the possibility of playing in New Jersey, Gallinari said the situation was out of his control.
"I will do the best I can. You've got to control what you can control. You can't control all of the other stuff," he said.
Randolph, acquired from Golden State last summer in the David Lee sign-and-trade deal, echoed those sentiments.
"Stuff like that is part of the business. All I can do is focus on getting better," Randolph said. "I'm going to keep working on my game enough to where I can get on the floor."
Randolph has appeared in just 17 of the Knicks' 54 games thus far, averaging 2.1 points and 2.4 rebounds. He was asked if he sees himself as part of the "long-term success" of the franchise.
"Honestly I kind of don't know where I fit right now. Like I said, I'm just trying to work my way into the rotation and if that doesn't happen then just keep on working and hopefully something will change," the 21-year-old said.
The Knicks (28-26) have won two straight and enter the second half in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, two games ahead of seventh-place Philadelphia. All-Star Amare Stoudemire was excused from practice on Monday due to travel issues. So was Curry. D'Antoni expects Stoudemire to return on Tuesday.
Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.