As we’re living in a more globalized world each day, more and more European basketball players make their way to the NBA. Time for us to honour some great European stars who made an impact in the NBA during the past 10 years. This ranking is based on the best European performers between the 2009-10 season and the 2019-20 season. European legends have something in common. They love to stay with the same franchise for a long time, showing their loyalty and love for the team. Today we take a closer look at our 8th pick. As we all miss the NBA right now, we hope you enjoy this read. And most importantly, take care.
8. Danilo Gallinari (current team: Oklahoma City Thunder) Age: 31
We had to put some spicy Italian flavour to this list. Danilo Gallinari might be one of the most underrated NBA players in todays game. He’s not the most exciting player to watch, but he surely is one of the best European players of the decade.
Born in 1988, Gallinari started his professional career in 2004, playing for Casalpusterlengo in the Third Division in Italy. Before being drafted 6th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks, Danilo played for Pallacanestro Pavia and Olimpia Milano.
Danilo Gallinari is an allround basketball player with a solid shot. After having a quiet Rookie season in New York, Gallinari exploded offensively in the following years, making him one of the deadliest Italian scorers the NBA has ever seen. He’s also known around the league for his excellent consistency, putting up high numbers in just about every season. After twelve seasons in the NBA, the Italian averages 16.2 PPG. Gallinari got traded to the Denver Nuggets in 2011 alongside Chandler, Felton and Mozgov in exchange for superstar Carmelo Anthony. Gallinari had six great seasons in Denver.
Unfortunately Danilo couldn’t play a single game in the entire 2013-2014 season, as he suffered a torn ACL. Gallinari bounced back strong, scoring a career-high 47 points against the Dallas Mavericks in the beginning of the 2014-2015 season. In the summer of 2017 Gallinari got traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, where he put up excellent numbers in the following two seasons.
Statistically, the Italian had his best season in 2018-2019, averaging 19.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 2.6 APG, while shooting 48 % from the field and a very solid 43 % from three. Not many European players have put up these numbers. In 2019 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari got traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Paul George. Up until the corona-outbreak, Gallinari averaged 19.2 points in the 2019-2020 season. Impressionante!