Free-agent forward Danilo Gallinari and the Clippers were closing in on a sign-and-trade agreement Monday night that involved the Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks and Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, according to NBA officials who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Gallinari will agree to a three-year deal with the Clippers for about $65 million, the official said. He had opted out of a contract with Denver that would have paid him $16.1 million next season.
Crawford and center Diamond Stone would go to the Atlanta Hawks as a part of the deal, according to the officials. The Clippers also would send a 2018 first-round draft pick to the Hawks, probably the one they got from the Houston Rockets in the Chris Paul trade last week.
When Gallinari met with the Clippers on Sunday, he reportedly was impressed with their presentation envisioning a frontcourt of DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin and Gallinari.
The Clippers have been looking for an upgrade at the small forward spot in the four years Doc Rivers has been their coach, and Gallinari would represent that. He averaged 18.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game last season with Denver, and shot 38.8% from three-point range.
At 6 feet 10 and 225 pounds, Gallinari also could play some power forward for the Clippers.
Over an eight-year career in the NBA, Gallinari has averaged 15.3 points per game, 4.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists. He has shot 42% from the field, 37% from three-point range and 86.3% from the free-throw line.
The Clippers lose a big-time bench player in Crawford, however. The 6-5 guard has won the NBA’s sixth man of the year award three times, twice with the Clippers.
Crawford, 37, averaged 12.3 points and shot 41.3% from the field and 36% from three-point range in the 82 regular-season games he played for the Clippers last season.
This will be his second stint with the Hawks, having played for Atlanta in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.
Stone was a second-round pick who played in just seven games for the Clippers last season.
The Clippers now have lost three of their primary scorers from last season — point guard Paul to the Rockets in a trade, shooting guard J.J. Redick to the Philadelphia 76ers as a free agent and Crawford.
Follow Broderick Turner on Twitter @BA_Turner