Things have just gone from bad to a worst-case scenario for the Boston Celtics, as The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on September 2 that top-billed free agent acquisition, Danilo Gallinari was diagnosed with a torn left ACL, the same one he tore in April 2013 that required two separate surgeries and kept him sidelined until the 2014-15 season.
After having sustained the injury while playing for Italy in a FIBA World Cup qualifying game on August 27, initial reports were that the veteran had suffered from a torn left meniscus and was expected to keep him sidelined for just around two months, which, though certainly not ideal, gave hope that he’d be able to suit up for the Celtics on the earlier side of 2022-23.
With reports of it being a torn ACL, however, it is now a legitimate fear that Gallinari may miss the entirety of his inaugural campaign in Boston, as the recovery period for such an injury typically falls between six and 12 months, though, 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.
Naturally, this is a truly devastating report for Gallo, but it’s also quite grim for the shamrocks, as they inked the career 15.6 points per game baller to a two-year, $13.3 million deal to try and improve their second-unit scoring punch that ranked a mere 26 in the league last season in both points per game and offensive rating.
Now, with training camps set to open later this month and the season tip-off coming a few weeks later on October 18, the Boston Celtics are now left with a rather sizeable hole within their offensive arsenal.
In an attempt to fill said hole, perhaps Brad Stevens and company could opt to hit the trade market in an attempt to bring aboard a seasoned scoring threat on a reasonable deal.
Should they go down this route, the franchise should strongly consider pursuing Orlando Magic wing, Terrence Ross.
Ross Could Be Perfect for Celtics
A 10-year NBA veteran, Terrence Ross has established himself as a true spark-plug offensive threat.
Predominantly serving as a highly utilized bench player (has started just 178 out of 670 total played), the 31-year-old boasts impressive career averages of 22.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.7 steals per 100 possessions whilst knocking down three-pointers at a 36.1% percent shooting clip.
Now, many may look at his production from last year (10 points and 2.6 rebounds per game) and view him as being on a drastic decline in his career, thus making some believe that he’d be a rather risky target for the Boston Celtics to consider pursuing.
That being said, one could make the case that his lackluster performance was a direct result of Orlando’s strong focus on prioritizing their young talents as they embark on their full-fledged franchise rebuild.
By having these youthful talents receive more minutes and opportunities within the rotation, the veteran Ross, in turn, wound up seeing a major drop-off in his both scoring opportunities (attempted just 8.8 shots per game, his lowest full-season average since his rookie year) and in his usage percentage (20.5, his lowest since 2017-18).
During the three seasons prior to last year, the Magic were a team consistently gunning for a playoff run and, when in this type of environment, the wing found himself putting up stellar averages of 15.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and a steal on 36.2% shooting from deep.
Considering his price tag of $11.5 million, matching salaries would not be all that hard of a feat to accomplish for the Celtics. Even if it means also throwing in a future second-round pick to get a deal done, Boston should strongly consider gearing up for such a deal.
Free Agency an Easier Option
In all honesty, the Boston Celtics may not be willing to trade away any assets for someone like Terrence Ross when they could simply just pursue some of the talents that remain on the free agency market, which, frankly, is understandable.
Amongst the slew of available players on the open market is a ten-time NBA All-Star who, as of late, has drawn a ton of attention from C’s media.
Per a report by NBA Insider Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson, veteran forward Carmelo Anthony has been “considered a potential signee” by the Celtics since reports first surfaced about Gallinari’s injury.
Aside from him, perhaps Boston may wish to address their need for a backup big man, which could possibly lead them to former Sixth Man of the Year and current unrestricted free agent, Montrezl Harrell.