Talented Scorer Interested in Joining the Celtics: Report

Chicago Bulls

Getty Danilo Gallinari #8 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after hitting a three-point basket

After being traded to the San Antonio Spurs on June 29, Danilo Gallinari was promptly waived by the team. Gallinari’s contract had a partial guarantee of $4.5 million, so getting rid of him was easy for the Spurs. Now that Gallinari is about to hit the open market, he is interested in joining multiple playoff teams. Dave McMenamin ESPN reports that among those teams includes the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics will have competition for Gallinari’s services, as the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls will vie for Gallinari’s services too.

The Celtics will have the taxpayer mid-level exception of $6.3 million to offer for Gallinari this summer. Teams that operate below the salary cap will have the non-taxpayer mid-level exception of $10.3 million. Until free agency starts, it remains to be seen if interested suitors will offer that type of contract to Gallinari in full.

A Celtics’ Writer’s Take On Adding Gallinari

On June 27, Jay King of The Athletic listed Danilo Gallinari as one of Boston’s top options to go after in free agency when he hit the market. King makes note of the advantages Gallinari would bring offensively to the Celtics, most namely his three-point shooting. King also adds that Gallinari’s age (33) and dwindling numbers make him not as attractive as he once was when he was younger.

Though he will turn 34 before the season starts and had defensive limitations even in his prime, he has shot better than 40 percent on 3-pointers in three of the last four seasons. Defenses need to key in on him.

Gallinari’s impact has begun to dim. He averaged 11.7 points per game last season, the lowest mark of his career with the exception of his rookie season in 2008-09. He’s not exactly on par with all of the plus defenders in Boston’s rotation. He also plays power forward, where the Celtics should feel comfortable with Grant Williams backing up Al Horford. And Boston’s ideal free-agent target would be younger to have a chance of growing with the core. So it wouldn’t be a perfect fit. Gallinari’s still worth a spot near the top of this list if he hits free agency.

Even if he does, the timing could make a pursuit difficult for any team, especially one with limited resources. This could be a long shot for a number of reasons, but Gallinari would give Boston’s offense some juice.

The Celtics shot 37.3 percent from three during the 2022 NBA Playoffs, which ranked them fifth among the 16 teams that qualified, according to NBA.com. While they ranked among the better teams in that department, they could still stand to get better in that area.

Celtics Have Had Previous Interest in Gallinari

During the summer of 2015, the Celtics had expressed interest in trading Gallinari back when he was playing for the Denver Nuggets, according to Heavy’s Steve Bulpett.

At the time, Gallinari’s contract was expiring so he could have been acquired on the cheap. However, Gallinari later signed an extension with the Nuggets on July 21, 2015, thus ending any discussions about a potential trade at the time.

Seven years later, it’s apparent that the Celtics never lost interest in the high-scoring forward.

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