Brad Stevens worked hard this summer to improve the Boston Celtics’ depth issues. They fell short in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, and a big part of it was because they didn’t have any players on the bench who could step up while the team’s core players were struggling.
Boston signed Danilo Gallinari in free agency, hoping that his shooting would give their lineup a necessary boost. However, he recently suffered an ACL tear while playing with the Italian national team at EuroBasket. Now, Boston will have to find a replacement.
As rough as it may be to trade a player that they just signed, the Celtics could consider trading Gallinari’s contract for a roster upgrade. One potential option that could become available would be a trade for Charlotte Hornets wing Kelly Oubre Jr.
Here’s an outline of a potential deal:
Celtics receive: Oubre
Hornets receive: Gallinari, Luke Kornet, minimum contract player, 2025 1st-Round Pick (Top-20 Protected)
The Celtics could potentially get away with trading two second-round picks, but that depends on whether or not the Hornets are good next year. However, with the way things are shaping up, they may be a bottom-five team in the East.
Why Both Teams Could Make This Trade
For the Celtics, this would be an easy trade to make. They would get an extra wing who could provide them with solid shooting and scoring off the bench for a fairly low price. He’s not a great defender, but for what they would be giving up, it would be a solid addition.
Oubre appeared in 76 games for the Hornets last year, playing 26.3 minutes per contest. He averaged 15.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.1 assists on 44.0% shooting from the field and 34.5% shooting from behind the three-point line.
As for Charlotte, if they fail to push for the Play-In Tournament, they could look to offload Oubre’s contract for a pick. This will be the final year of his deal, so getting something in return for him could turn into a priority for Charlotte.
Plus, according to Brian Robb of Mass Live, trading Gallinari could be a real possibility.
Celtics Could Consider Trading Gallinari
As of now, the Celtics seem content with their roster. But if they feel like they need an extra push in the middle of the season, trading Gallinari for extra depth could be an intriguing option to consider.
“His salary ($6.5 million) opens up the door for some bigger deals since Boston could take back 125 percent of that salary,” Robb wrote. “Throw in a couple players making minimum money with Gallinari in a deal and Boston could land a big man making $10 million or more. Using Gallinari in a trade also allows the team more flexibility to pursue other upgrades while keeping their core intact.”
Gallinari was set to make a big-time impact in Boston, but a freak accident got in the way. Now, the Celtics could be left with some tough decisions to make. Trading Gallinari is not the ideal situation, but it could be something they have to do.
Oubre isn’t the perfect player, but if he becomes available for a reasonable price, he could be a decent addition to Boston’s bench.