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The Mass Media

What the Celtics can do after Danilo Gallinari’s injury

Danilo+Gallinari+of+the+Boston+Celtics+prepares+to+shoot.
Bianca Oppedisano
Danilo Gallinari of the Boston Celtics prepares to shoot. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano / Mass Media Staff

The Boston Celtics are coming off an impressive NBA finals run, in which they lost in six games to the Golden State Warriors. Not settling for second place, the Celtics made some final moves this past offseason to seemingly perfect their roster, but it seems a setback has come up. Newly acquired forward Danilo Gallinari had recently torn his ACL while playing for Italy this summer in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, ending his 2022-2023 NBA season (1).

On June 30, 2022, Gallinari was traded from the Atlanta Hawks to the San Antonio Spurs in a package deal for all-star Guard Dejounte Murray, where the team then bought him out (2). Two weeks later, shortly after the Celtics traded for former Rookie of the Year, Malcolm Brogdon (3), Gallinari signed a two-year, $13.3 million contract with Boston (4).

At 34-years-old Gallinari was coming off a solid season in Atlanta, where he averaged 11.7 points on 43 percent shooting (5). The veteran forward planned on becoming a sharpshooting threat off the bench for Boston and was a key reason why Vegas had chosen the Celtics as the favorite to win the championship (6).

However, on Aug. 27, 2022, while playing a game for Italy in the FIBA World Cup Qualifier against Georgia, Gallinari suffered a non-contact knee injury on a fast break. Despite the initial diagnosis of a torn meniscus (7), further investigation revealed Gallinari had torn his ACL, preventing him from playing this season in the NBA.

Although this may seem like a significant hurdle for the Celtics, there is an adjustment that can be made. With the drawn-out sagas of the Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell trade rumors coming to an end, many noteworthy free agents remain on the market. When it comes to filling Gallinari’s role as a catch-and-shoot bench forward, one available name stands out.

Despite his age, the 38-year-old Carmelo Anthony had proven to still be an efficient bench piece for a struggling Lakers team last season. Averaging 13.3 points on 44 percent shooting, the future hall of famer has still got some left in the tank (8). With the season around the corner and job opportunities closing, Anthony signing a cheap one-year contract with Boston is a strong possibility, and provides Anthony a chance to win his first-ever NBA title in what has been a 20-year career. 

Anthony could provide a spark off the bench, as well as play the role of a mentor towards the Celtics’ young stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Anthony’s three-point shot hasn’t regressed much, as last year he shot 37.5 percent from beyond the arc, a key skill in today’s game (8).

The main flaw in Anthony’s game comes with his defense. At his age, Melo no longer has the athleticism to keep up with younger players, but this should not be a major problem with the Celtics. Boston was one of the league’s best defensive teams last season, led by the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Marcus Smart, and All-Defensive Team Center Robert Williams III. Chances are, anytime Anthony is on the floor, there will be four talented defenders alongside him willing to make up for his defense.

The Celtics have shown serious interest in signing Anthony, and at the moment, there doesn’t seem to be any other team heavily pursuing him (9). After two decades with no luck, Anthony is aware that this may be his best, and possibly last, chance to win a championship. If the Celtics are able to add Carmelo Anthony to their already strong bench unit, it will almost be like the Gallinari injury had never happened.

 

  1. https://www.nba.com/news/danilo-gallinari-suffers-torn-acl

  2. https://www.sportsmax.tv/nba/item/101790-spurs-agree-to-buyout-with-danilo-gallinari-make-lonnie-walker-iv-an-unrestricted-free-agent

  3. https://www.nba.com/news/pacers-celtics-malcolm-brogdon-trade

  4. https://www.nba.com/news/danilo-gallinari-agrees-to-2-year-deal-with-boston-celtics

  5. https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/g/gallida01.html 

  6. https://www.vegasinsider.com/nba/odds/futures/

  7. https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/34474447/boston-celtics-danilo-gallinari-diagnosed-torn-meniscus

  8. https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/a/anthoca01.html

  9. https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/celtics/nba-rumors-carmelo-anthony-joining-celtics-starting-gain-traction

About the Contributors
Liam Crampton, Sports Writer
Bianca Oppedisano, Illustrator