Celtics Linked to Former Fan Favorite as Danilo Gallinari Replacement

Kelly Olynyk and Jae Crowder, formerly of the Boston Celtics.

Getty Kelly Olynyk and Jae Crowder, formerly of the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics acted quickly this offseason. After falling short in the NBA Finals, losing to the Golden State Warriors in six games, Brad Stevens did not hesitate to add new faces to the roster. These additions came in the form of Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari.

Unfortunately, the latter of those two players just suffered a major injury. While he was playing at EuroBasket, Gallinari injured his knee. Originally, the injury was thought to be just a meniscus tear, but upon further evaluation, it was revealed that the Italian forward tore his ACL.

In turn, the Celtics will be forced to find a replacement for his production. Whether or not this happens internally or externally is left to be determined, but Nick Goss of NBC Sports Boston brought up some solid ideas of players Boston could add to replace him. One of them was Detroit Pistons big man Kelly Olynyk.

“What about an Olynyk reunion?

“The Celtics selected Olynyk 13th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft and he played four seasons in Boston. He never developed into a star but did have some memorable moments, including an amazing performance in Game 7 of the 2017 second-round playoff series win over the Washington Wizards,” Goss wrote.

Olynyk has played well since departing from the Celtics all those years ago, but ever since his time with the Miami Heat, he hasn’t played for a winning team. Instead, he’s played for the Pistons and Houston Rockets.

Goss believes Olynyk’s shooting would be the main reason behind a potential deal.


How Olynyk Could Help Celtics

For the Celtics, two of the most important things to consider when thinking about potential additions are the need for shooting and defense. Gallinari may not be the best defender, but his shooting was set to be a huge help. Those same statements can be made for Olynyk.

“Olynyk would provide the Celtics with size, rebounding and outside shooting. He shot 36.3 percent from 3-point range last season with the Pistons. He’s also a quality free throw shooter and has averaged 10.1 points per game over his career,” Goss noted.

Last season, Olynyk appeared in 40 games for the Pistons, playing 19.1 minutes per contest. He averaged 9.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.8 assists on 44.8% shooting from the field and 33.6% shooting from behind the three-point line.

However, Goss also noted that acquiring Olynyk wouldn’t be the easiest thing, as he wouldn’t be a one-year-rental.


Cost of Adding Olynyk

Adding a one-year rental would be easier, but Olynyk is under contract for two more seasons at a price point that Boston cannot acquire through the TPE. And although the 2023-24 season is not fully guaranteed in his contract, it still makes the idea a bit tricky.

“Olynyk would have to be acquired via trade and he wouldn’t be a rental. However, the final year of his contract in 2023-24 is only partially guaranteed, per Spotrac. His $12 million salary also might be tough for the Celtics to acquire because they don’t have many mid-tier salaries in the $8-14 million range to match,” Goss explained.

An Olynyk reunion sounds like a great idea with Gallinari set to miss significant time, but it may not be as easy as it sounds.

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