Mar 4, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari (8) shoots the ball during the first half against the Atlanta Hawks at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Basketball Outlook: Denver Nuggets Small Forward Danilo Gallinari

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Justin Becker of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.com. You can follow him on twitter at @NBAFantasyInfo, and you can follow the Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues Google+ Page. For more Fantasy Basketball Projections visit Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues, a fantasy basketball blog

The Denver Nuggets played the entire 2013-14 NBA season without starting forward Danilo Gallinari as he needed all of it to recover from two surgeries to repair his torn ACL. Gallinari spoke to the media on Thursday and says he will be ready to play at the start of next season.

“When we talk about the schedule, I’ll be ready for training camp,” Gallinari told The Denver Post. “By the end of May, I’ll be able to do most of the activities that I can possibly do. So in the summer I’ll be able to practice a little bit with the national team just to get a feel.”

Gallinari will assume his starting small forward position when the preseason tips off. His injury, along with those to JaVale McGee (stress fracture) and Nate Robinson (ACL) derailed Denver’s season.

To get a good look on how he will perform next season, I want to first take a look at his career stats and how he has established himself in the NBA. Then, I want to take a look at how he has performed with Denver ever since the 2011-2012 season. Then, we will get to the projections on how I think he’ll do next season and what you can expect from him when choosing your fantasy team next year.

Danilo Gallinari’s Career

Gallinari has been in the league for six years now. He has had a lot of trouble with injuries, especially as of late. As I said, he missed the entire length of this season due to a torn ACL, so he has actually only played in five seasons. He has been swapping from the New York Knicks to the Denver Nuggets. He was drafted by the New York Knicks in 2008 with the 6th overall pick in the draft. After spending two years there, he went to Denver and only played in 14 games before being sent back to New York for the remainder of the 2010-2011 season. From the 2011-2012 season until now he has been with the Denver Nuggets and has played some of the best basketball of his career in Denver, when he has played.

He has played in a total of 285 games, starting in 247 of those. He has averaged 31.3 minutes per game throughout those games. He has averaged 14.5 points per game, 1.9 assists per game, 4.7 rebounds per game, 0.5 blocks per game and 0.9 steals per game. He is shooting 42 percent from the floor and 37 percent from three-point territory. He has proven to be a great shooter, especially because of his length at the small forward. (He is 6’10’’)

Last Three Years

Gallinari hasn’t played basketball since the 2012-2013 season. He came to Denver at the start of the 2011-2012 season. He played in 43 games that season, starting in 40 of those games. He averaged 31.4 minutes per game that season. As far as scoring, he had his worst year since his rookie season, when he only played in 28 games. He averaged 14.6 points per game, 2.7 assists per game, 4.7 rebounds per game, 0.5 blocks per game and 1.0 steals per game. He shot 41 percent from the floor and 33 percent from long-range. They ended up going to the postseason and he played in seven games before being eliminated. He averaged 31.7 minutes per game in the playoffs. He didn’t produce as well, averaging 13.4 points per game, 2.4 assists per game, 5.1 rebounds per game and 0.7 steals per game. He also shot 36 percent from the floor and only 17 percent from long-range in the playoffs.

The following season, it seemed as if he was finally healthy before tearing his ACL. The Denver Nuggets were having a good season and so was he. He played in 71 games during the 2012-2013 season, starting in all of those games. He averaged 32.5 minutes per game through those 71 games. He saw an increase in points and rebounds from the previous season. He averaged 16.2 points per game which was a career high and also averaged 5.2 rebounds per game. In addition, he averaged 2.5 assists per game, 0.5 blocks per game and 0.9 steals per game, while shooting 42 percent from the floor and 37 percent from the three-point line. When he was healthy, he showed that he could be a vital piece to the Nuggets’ offense and defense.

2014-2015 Projections

First off, I see Danilo Gallinari having a breakout season and the best season of his career next year. I think he has a lot to prove after all he has missed so far in his career. I think he will make up for lost time and be very valuable to the Denver Nuggets and fantasy basketball teams worldwide. First, let’s talk about scoring. I think everyone knows he is capable of averaging 20 points per game, he just hasn’t been healthy enough to get there yet. Well, I can see it coming next season. I will give him anywhere from 19.0 to 22.0 points per game. I also think he will have a career high average in rebounds per game, averaging a little over 6.0 rebounds per game. He’ll bring you around two to four assists per game and stay around the one block and one steal per game.

He has been very consistent with his shooting percentage. He should bring you a field goal percentage of around 42 to 44 percent and shoot around 35 percent from the perimeter. Another strong point he has shown in his career is free throw shooting, which can be helpful for a fantasy basketball team. He is averaging 84 percent from the free throw line in his career and he will most likely do the same next season, as he is consistent from there.

Another thing worth talking about is the fact that he has only had three seasons of playing over 70 games (2009-2010, 2010-2011,2012-2013) I think he will be given a couple of days of rest here and there for pre-cautionary reasons. He will most likely play a little over 70 games, so he should be a liable reason for you season long.

It would be safe to keep your eyes and ears open this offseason to keep updated on his status, but it looks like he will be ready in time. You’ll get a good look at him in the preseason and training camp, if you wanted to see how he looked live. He should be a good pickup for your fantasy team.

Tags: Danilo Gallinari Denver Nuggets Fantasy Basketball

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