Celtics Urged to Sign 10-Time All-Star Following Danilo Gallinari’s Injury

Carmelo Anthony, Boston Celtics

Getty Carmelo Anthony, Boston Celtics

The new NBA season hasn’t even started yet, and the Boston Celtics have already had an injury scare. Free agent addition Danilo Gallinari tweaked his knee during a EuroBasket game between Italy and Georgia, which many believed could have been a season-ending ACL tear.

Both the Celtics and Gallinari lucked out upon confirmation that his ACL was stable and his ligaments suffered no damage, but it was confirmed that Gallinari had, in fact, torn his left meniscus.

As of now, no one knows what route Gallinari will take as he recovers from his injury, but with him out for the time being, the Celtics may potentially look for players who could fill in the role that Gallinari was supposed to play.

Keith Smith of CelticsBlog proposed that one player who could fit that role is free agent 10-time all-star Carmelo Anthony.

“Carmelo Anthony is the free agent who can most immediately replace what Boston will miss while Gallinari is out. Anthony can still score off the bounce and can still hurt mismatches on post-ups. Anthony isn’t quite as reliable as Gallinari as a shooter, but he’s not a bad one either.”

Smith added that there isn’t much of a dropoff defensively between Gallinari and Anthony while adding that Anthony brings something else to the table besides scoring.

“Defensively, Anthony is probably on par with Gallinari. Neither is being paid to defend anyone. Both are guys the coaching staff will scheme around and help. On the plus side, Anthony remains a pretty solid defensive rebounder.”

Anthony proved last season with the Los Angeles Lakers that, at the very least, he can still score at a reasonable volume.

Anthony’s Performance Last Season

In the 69 games Anthony played for the Lakers last season, he averaged 13.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 26 minutes a game. Anthony also shot 44.1 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from three, which is pretty solid efficiency for a 38-year-old. Also, the 44.1 percent from the field is the highest shooting percentage he’s put up since the 2014-15 season.

Defensively, the Lakers gave up 0.4 more points per 100 possessions with Anthony on the floor, according to NBA.com, meaning that while he certainly didn’t make them better defensively when he was on the court, he didn’t make them that much worse either. The Lakers had the 10th-highest defensive rating in the NBA, allowing 112.8 points per 100 possessions, according to NBA.com, compared to the Celtics, who had the lowest defensive rating, allowing 106.2 points per 100 possessions.

Anthony has remained a free agent throughout the offseason, although he reportedly wants to reunite with one of his former teams.

Anthony Reportedly Wants to Reunite With the Knicks

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report said on his podcast “Please Don’t Aggregate This” that Anthony wants to return to the New York Knicks, but the feeling may not be mutual between the two sides.

“I have certainly heard that Carmelo’s got interest in a reunion. I don’t know if the Knicks have much interest there,” Fischer said.

Anthony spent six and a half seasons with the Knicks, where he averaged 24.7 points, seven rebounds, and 3.2 assists while shooting 44.3 percent from the field and 36.9 percent from three in 412 games, according to StatMuse.

Celtics fans may have issues with the team potentially signing Anthony, given his age and defensive shortcomings, but compared to the other options out there, he may very well be the best one out there. Of course, none of this will matter if Gallinari plans to return from injury sooner rather than later, but that remains to be seen.