DENVER — The Nuggets have been billing themselves as a team without a bona fide star.

DENVER — The Nuggets have been billing themselves as a team without a bona fide star.

That assertion is getting harder and harder to make, especially given the way 23-year-old Danilo Gallinari has been playing this season.

Denver signed the smooth-shooting Gallinari to a four-year extension on Wednesday, worth $42 million.

The deal, first reported by the Denver Post and CBSSports, represents a big step for the Nuggets and their versatile Italian forward, who came over from the New York Knicks in the Carmelo Anthony trade last February.

The Nuggets have moved on from 'Melo. Now, it's Gallo's time.

Gallinari is averaging career bests in points (17.4), assists (2.8) and steals (1.7) this season. He outplayed Anthony in the first meeting since they were swapped in the blockbuster trade, scoring a career-high 37 points as the Nuggets outlasted the Knicks 119-114 in double overtime on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

The Nuggets (12-5) own a better record than every team in the Western Conference except Oklahoma City (14-3). Even more, they are 30-12 since reshaping their roster with the Anthony trade.