Celtics Linked to High-Scoring Forward: Report

TJ Warren

Getty The Boston Celtics force a turnover by T.J. Warren #1 of the Indiana Pacers.

The Boston Celtics will have the taxpayer mid-level exception to offer players when NBA Free Agency starts on June 30 at 6 PM ET. In other words, that means they can offer $6.3 million to a free agent on the open market. According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Celtics have two targets in mind – TJ Warren and Danilo Gallinari.

Boston appears focused on high-scoring, small-ball forwards for the Celtics’ mid-level. They have been linked to Danillo Gallinari and T.J. Warren, among others. Gallinari is also expected to draw interest from Miami should it lose P.J. Tucker.

Gallinari is still a member of the Atlanta Hawks, but the last year of his contract is partially guaranteed for only $4.5 million. Warren on the other hand is an unrestricted free agent, so the Celtics can sign him outright once free agency begins.

Warren, who’s spent his entire career with the Phoenix Suns and Indiana Pacers, missed the entirety of the 2021-22 season while recovering from stress fractures in his left foot and played the first four games in the 2020-21 season before going out for the season because of the stress fractures in his left foot.


Celtics Writer Explains Why They Should Sign Warren

Jay King of The Athletic wrote an article on June 29, 2022, detailing what he thinks the Celtics should do during the offseason. His first move is to bring in Warren using the taxpayer mid-level exception. King’s rationale is that Warren would be an efficient third scorer that the Celtics desperately needed in the 2022 NBA Playoffs.

The upside would be worth the bet. At his best, Warren is an efficient scorer from anywhere on the court. He shot an absurd 57.5 percent on 2-pointers during his last full season, plus a sparkling 40.3 percent from behind the 3-point arc. He’s not big on the whole “assists” thing, but he would give the Celtics a legitimate third scorer. They could have used one in the playoffs. At the highest level of basketball, teams need guys who can just go get a bucket against any caliber of defense.

King acknowledges Boston’s other options regarding players who play the same position as Warren, like Gallinari, Otto Porter Jr., and Garry Harris, but believes Warren has the potential to be better than all of them.

Beyond Warren, other forwards like Atlanta’s Danilo Gallinari, Golden State’s Otto Porter Jr. and Orlando’s Gary Harris would make sense if they’re in Boston’s range. Those guys would all be pretty obvious fits, but Warren has the highest ceiling. That’s why he would be my pick.


King Acknowledges Warren’s Red Flags

Because of Warren’s previous scoring numbers, he would fit in Boston as a third scorer on paper, but having played only four games in the past two years breeds cause for concern. King brings up that bringing Warren in after all that’s happened to him since 2020 will come with some big risks.

Warren has played four games over the last two seasons. He missed this past season entirely. He has been battling some serious foot issues, which might not be entirely resolved. Signing him would be a risk. If Warren’s available at this price, it means teams around the league are skeptical of his body. If he’s not right physically, the Celtics could end up getting little or nothing from their biggest free agent acquisition.

Judging by Fischer’s latest report, it sounds like the Celtics believe that Warren is worth the risk.

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