Nuggets sign Danilo Gallinari to contract extension

DENVER, Jan. 25, 2012 – The Denver Nuggets have signed F Danilo Gallinari to a multi-year contract extension, Nuggets Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.

Gallinari, 6-10, 225, has appeared in 17 games this season (all starts) and is averaging career-highs in points (17.4), rebounds (5.2), assists (2.8), steals (1.71), field-goal percentage (.462) and minutes (34.2). He ranks 22nd in the NBA in scoring, 13th in free-throw percentage (.892) and 13th in steals.

Gallinari, 23, was drafted sixth overall by the New York Knicks in 2008. He was acquired by Denver as part of a 13-player, three-team deal on Feb. 22, 2011.

“Gallo has been excellent and done everything we have asked since we made the trade last February,” Ujiri said. “Everybody is seeing how talented he is, and he’s only 23 years old. He is only going to get better.”

Gallinari recently put together one of the best games of his young career, scoring a career-high 37 points (18-of-20 FTs, both career-highs) and grabbing 11 rebounds in a double-overtime victory over the Knicks on Jan. 21. So far this season, he has scored 20-plus points seven times (30-plus twice), registered two double-doubles and attempted 10-or-more free throws four times.

In 2010-11, the native of Italy appeared in 62 games (60 starts), averaging 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 33.9 minutes per game. He scored at least 20 points 28 times, including two 30-plus performances.