After initially being diagnosed with a torn left meniscus when collapsing to the floor whilst playing for Italy in a FIBA World Cup qualifying game on August 27, top-billed free agent acquisition for the Boston Celtics Danilo Gallinari has been diagnosed with a torn left ACL, the same one that was injured back in April 2013 which required two surgeries to repair and kept him sidelined until the following season.
While his original time of recovery was only expected to take a couple of months, now with this updated ailment his healing period will likely be between six and 12 months.
This news is certainly tough for Celtics fans to hear, as the veteran was brought on to help improve the team’s second-unit scoring punch that ranked 26 last season in both points per game and offensive rating, but it is especially hard to hear for Gallinari himself.
Following the initial onslaught of reports and news breaks, the 34-year-old took to Twitter to push out a statement on his updated knee injury.
“This has been a tough week for me as I have learned the extent of my injury,” Gallinari wrote. “This game means everything to me and not being able to be on the court with my Celtics teammates hurts. I plan to give everything I can to the Celtics organization and my teammates as we hunt for a title. I will work tirelessly with the Celtics staff to return to the court as soon as I can and I appreciate the unwavering support from the fans, my teammates, and the entire NBA family.”
According to the ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, a source has informed him that the forward “is determined to try to return” late in the year.
2 Potential Free Agency Ideas
With the absence of Danilo Gallinari, the Boston Celtics have a six-foot-ten-sized hole within their frontcourt that the front office should look to patch up at some point this season.
There are several ways in which Brad Stevens and company could opt to address this rotational vacancy, but perhaps the most likely course of action will be to scour the free agency market in search of some cost-efficient players.
Though the majority of high-end talents have already been scooped up, as free agency has been underway for just over two months now, there are still several interesting options the franchise could consider pursuing to help fill the void with Gallinari sidelined.
Of the remaining talents residing on the open market, arguably the most buzz-worthy seems to be 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony who, according to an August 30 report by NBA Insider Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson, has already drawn interest from Boston.
Last season, Anthony played for the Los Angeles Lakers where, in 66 games, posted 13.3 points and 4.2 rebounds on 37.5% shooting from distance.
Another player who could be considered a worthy option is 28-year-old tweener big man and the 2019-20 Sixth Man of the Year, Montrezl Harrell who averaged 13.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and just over half a block per game last season on 64.5% shooting from the floor whilst claiming the highest box plus-minus rating of his career (3.9).
Celtics Could Use Trade Exceptions
Another approach the Boston Celtics could take is by utilizing one of their six traded player exceptions to add on a player to help soften the blow of the Gallinari loss.
The two most notable exceptions the club possesses are the ones they acquired in the Juan Hernangomez trade on January 18 and the Dennis Schroder trade on February 10, holding a value of $6.9 million and $5.8 million, respectively.
With these trade exceptions, also referred to as TPEs, the Celtics could absorb a player’s contract in a deal without having to match salaries in their outbound package, so long as the incoming salary equals or is less than each of these aforementioned amounts.