There’s a lot of debate right now, regarding whether the Boston Celtics should find a replacement for Danilo Gallinari, or stand pat with the roster they currently have.
Of course, the first thing to ask yourself is whether you believe Gallinari will return to the rotation this season, or if his recovery from a torn ACL will ensure he remains on the sidelines for the duration of the season. After all, adding another veteran only makes sense if you don’t envision Gallinari eventually returning and requiring minutes.
However, according to former Celtics Assistant GM, Ryan McDonough, Boston should give sophomore sharpshooter Sam Hauser the opportunity to earn a bigger role in the rotation before they begin hunting around the free agency market.
“I think it’s significant, given the injury, the timing of the injury, and the duration of the rehab. Rehab from a torn ACL is typically nine to twelve months. It stinks that this happened late in the off-season for Gallinari and the Celtics because the market has moved, we’re already two months into free agency, and there aren’t many good players available…It’s unfortunate for Gallinari, but it’s also tough because, at this late stage in free agency, it’s almost impossible to replace a player of Gallinari’s caliber. Which is why I think Sam Hauser will get an opportunity,” McDonough said during a September 3 segment on NBC Sports Boston.
In terms of replacing Gallinari’s offense, Hauser could be a solid fit, as during his rookie season he shot 43.2% from deep on 1.7 attempts per game, and looked every bit the floor spacer he was billed as coming out of college. If Hauser has improved his game during the off-season, his presence within the rotation could ease the Celtics’ need to find a veteran replacement for Gallinari.
Celtics Rumored to Have Interest in Carmelo Anthony
Beyond looking at who they already have on their roster, the Celtics are rumored to hold an interest in acquiring veteran scorer, Carmelo Anthony. According to a September 5 article by Gary Washburn for the Boston Globe, Brad Stevens and the front office are aware that Anthony is currently the best scoring wing available and could potentially look to make a move in the coming weeks.
“This is starting to gain traction because Anthony may be the best shooting forward left on the market, and he has shown to be productive offensively despite his age…Anthony has remained in great shape and can still score. He had 20 or more points in 11 games last season and played 26 minutes per game, showing his durability. Anthony wants an opportunity to win a championship, and this could be his best chance,” Washburn wrote in his August 5 article.
Anthony was impressive for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, averaging 13.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting 37.5% from deep and 52.1% from two-point range in 69 appearances – 66 of them coming off the bench.
Marcus Smart Still Recovering From Ankle Injury
While news of Gallinari’s ACL tear has been prominent throughout the Celtics fanbase, he is not the only member of the roster currently dealing with an injury. When speaking to CLNS Media’s Bobby Manning, Marcus Smart noted how his ankle is still recovering following a summer of rest.
“(I’m) a little banged up from last year. My ankle is feeling better. It’s still healing, so I’m dealing with that. I’m just giving it as much rest as I can, but definitely back on the court, definitely back into the action. It felt like yesterday, we just finished playing… I’m definitely doing everything I can for next season and to go deeper,” Smart said during the exclusive interview with Manning.
Given the physical brand of basketball Smart enjoys playing, one would hope that he is close to 100% by the time the new season rolls around, as he will play a significant role in Boston trying to get back to the NBA finals next season.