• The Miami Heat have emerged as a playoff contender in the Eastern Conference
  • The Heat were eyeing Danilo Ganillari during the trade deadline
  • Ganillari is a versatile scorer and is averaging 19 points per outing

With the regular season in its second half, NBA squads are now preparing for a strong finish before entering the playoffs. Teams have now seen how their roster shapes up against the rest of the league and seek the free agency for possible upgrades. The Miami Heat has the talent to choose from in the market as they’re aggressively chasing long-term success.

They’ve acquired Jimmy Butler in the offseason and they’ve developed Bam Adebayo into an All-Star. They also currently have two phenomenal rookies with Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro. The trade deadline also served a productive haul for the Heat, as they were able to get three-time NBA champion Andre Iguodala. Versatile veterans Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill were also key additions in the deadline.

The Miami Herald reported that the organization per Heat president Pat Riley wants to win now. They eyed Oklahoma City Thunder standout Danilo Gallinari during the peak of the trade deadline. The deal, however, did not materialize, as the Heat would have compromised too many draft picks for three months of Gallinari’s services. The six-foot ten forward has been one of the bright spots of the Thunder with his ability to stretch the floor and consistently hit big shots.

Gallinari was selected 6th overall in the 2008 NBA draft by the New York Knicks. He’s a reliable scorer who can put up double figures in any game. He can be a good fit for the Heat as an additional threat from beyond the arc. He’s a stretch 4 and he can also create offense on his own. The Italian forward is currently putting up 19.2 points with 5.6 rebounds per game. He is also shooting at a 44% clip from the field and 40.8% from the three-point land.

The team from South Beach is currently fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 36-22 record. They’ve blossomed as one of the teams to look out for with their emergence to the playoff contention. While the team can focus first in a possible home-court advantage in the postseason, free-agent options such as Gallinari are available to further improve their team in succeeding years.

Italy's Danilo Gallinari
Italy's Danilo Gallinari goes for the basket against Israel's D'or Fischer and Raviv Limonad during their 2015 EuroBasket 2015 round of 16 match at the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve d'Ascq near Lille, France, September 13, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier