The 2022-23 season hasn’t started yet, and the Boston Celtics have already suffered a notable setback. Danilo Gallinari suffered a non-contact knee injury during the 2022 EuroBasket Tournament. While originally diagnosed as a meniscus tear, Shams Charania later reported that upon further evaluation, Gallinari had torn his ACL.
Once Gallinari’s torn ACL was confirmed, one name instantly came to mind to the Celtics fanbase as his replacement: Carmelo Anthony.
However, it appears the Celtics are in no rush to add the 10-time all-star, according to Steve Hewitt of The Boston Herald.
“The 38-year-old Carmelo Anthony remains a free agent and could offer similar offensive production off the bench after he scored 13.3 points per game and shot 37.5 percent from distance in 69 games for the Lakers last season. But according to a league source, the C’s aren’t in a hurry to make a deal or sign Anthony, and they’re interested in taking a look at all of their internal depth options, including Mfiondu Kabengele and Luke Kornet.”
Kabengele is coming off a standout performance in the 2022 Las Vegas Summer League, where he averaged 14.8 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 58.7 percent from the field and 40 percent from three, according to NBA.com.
During Gallinari’s and Malcolm Brogdon’s introductory press conference on July 12, President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens vocalized his faith in Kornet.
All indications are that Stevens meant what he said.
Celtics ‘Number One Suitor’ for Carmelo
Before Gallinari’s knee injury was confirmed to be an ACL tear, Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports reported that the Celtics considered Anthony a “potential signee” on August 30.
On September 2, Robinson followed that up by saying that the Celtics were the number one suitor among the five that were vying for Anthony’s services, which include division rivals New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Robinson said that the Celtics make the most sense for Anthony after Gallinari’s ACL tear was confirmed.
Although Robinson said the Celtics make the most logistical sense, he also mentioned that Anthony has a desire to be in New York to be closer to his teenage son.
Gallinari May Not Be Out for the Season
The one silver lining to Gallinari tearing his ACL almost two months before the season starts is that it doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t play at all during the 2022-23 season. After Shams Charania confirmed the ACL tear, he added what Gallinari’s recovery time will look like.
Since Gallinari suffered the injury in late August, the earliest he’d come back would most likely be sometime in March. Hewitt reiterated Gallinari’s recovery timeline in his report but also said that Gallinari will do everything in his power to come back before the season’s end.
“The typical recovery timeline for a torn ACL is six to 12 months, but Gallinari is reportedly determined to try to return at some point late in this season.”
Gallinari took to Twitter to express that very desire after his torn ACL had been confirmed.
This could explain why the Celtics haven’t been quick to get a replacement. If Gallinari is ready to come back around the playoffs, that would make someone like Anthony redundant on the roster.