The Hawks are signing Danilo Gallinari to one of the biggest contracts in 2020 NBA free agency.
But the initially reported terms – three years, $61.5 million – overstate Atlanta’s commitment.
This is a significant development in understanding Gallinari’s deal. The 32-year-old has major injury history.
But this contract structure could give the Hawks a difficult decision before the 2022-23 season.
Atlanta’s options in 2022 will be:
Pay Gallinari $21.45 million to play for them
Pay him $5 million to go away*
*That $5 million cap hit could be incurred in 2022-23 or spread over three seasons at $1,666,667 each.
It’s not as if the Hawks can just keep Gallinari at a lower salary. Either they’ll have him at full price or won’t have him at all. And not having him at all would still include a significant severance payment.
Still, at least Atlanta will have the choice rather than be forced to pay Gallinari in full for his age-34 season.