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Friday, January 13, 2012
Sources: Nuggets, Gallinari talk extension

By Marc Stein

Negotiations on a contract extension are underway between Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari and his representatives, according to sources close to the situation.

Jan. 25 is the deadline for such extensions and Gallinari has joined Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Minnesota’s Kevin Love and Portland’s Nicolas Batum at the top of the list of players hoping to join Chicago’s Derrick Rose in receiving a new deal before that buzzer sounds. Rose is the only player from the 2008 NBA draft to sign an extension so far.

The current leaguewide expectation is that only a few more Class of 2008 draftees will actually land extensions in the next 12 days, as teams don’t necessarily have to rush knowing that all of the above become restricted free agents on July 1 without an extension as long as they receive a qualifying offer by June 30.

Other top draftees from the class of 2008 include Minnesota’s Michael Beasley, Memphis’ O.J Mayo, New Orleans’ Eric Gordon, Charlotte’s D.J. Augustin, New Jersey’s Brook Lopez, Indiana’s Roy Hibbert, Washington’s JaVale McGee and Orlando’s Ryan Anderson.

Gallinari started the season slowly, averaging just 12.3 points on 34.1 percent shooting in Denver’s first four games, but he’s leading the Nuggets in scoring now at 17.2 points per game on career-best 47 percent shooting from the floor. Yet it remains to be seen whether Denver, fresh off re-signing Nene and swingman Arron Afflalo for a combined $110 month last month, is prepared to do another big deal now or ask the Italian forward to wait.