What Does the Gallinari Injury Mean for Boston?

Danilo Gallinari received some pretty unfortunate news last week. After suffering a non-contact knee injury in a EuroBasket game, it’s looking like we won’t be seeing Gallinari for a while.

Coming off a season in which he averaged 11.7/4.7/1.5 on splits of 43.4% from the field, 38.1% from three, and 90.4% from the free throw line, Gallinari seemed to be the ideal, risk free signing for Boston.

Gallinari made his way to Boston after a tumultuous offseason. He was dealt to the San Antonio Spurs as a part of the Dejounte Murray trade from Atlanta. He was then bought out, and made his way to the Celtics on a two year deal.

The loss of Gallinari on the surface is not Earth shattering. The Celtics should still be a favorite for the one seed in the East. They should still have a chance to reach the NBA Finals once again. Regardless, losing Gallinari for the year does still hurt to some extent

While he is no longer in his prime, Gallinari would have offered a lot to this current Celtics roster. He could have filled a lot of holes with his versatility. His style of play allows the Celtics to run different lineups, with him playing anywhere from the three to the small ball five.

He was a big upgrade as a floor spacing big, shooting 41.9% on catch and shoot threes last season. More importantly, he was a massive improvement for both bench scoring and bench depth.

With him, you were able to cut the Jays’ (Jayson Tatum & Jaylen Brown) playing time down a few extra minutes, which could have proven huge in the long run. Now after the ACL Tear, it’s more than likely we won’t see him in green this year.

What Should The Celtics Do Next

The Celtics fortunately aren’t in a position to panic as a result of the injury. Moving forward, I believe the Celtics have two routes to follow.

Option one is to try and replace Danilo. If the Celtics were to replace Gallinari, it would most likely be through free agency. Ideally, the Celtics would like to find a similar situation to Gallinari. A risk free, cheap veteran looking for a chance to win.

Carmelo Anthony is the guy that seems to check the most boxes when looking at comparisons to what Gallinari was expected to bring.

At 38 years old, Anthony is a career 45% shooter from the field and 35.5% from three. The addition of Anthony would bring you 80% or 90% of what you were looking for from Gallinari, even with the same flaws being age and defense. 

LaMarcus Aldridge is another veteran player who could possibly step into Gallinari’s role. His play style is quite similar to Gallinari’s, and he would come at a fairly affordable price.

Still, the easiest and maybe the most rational move is to just go into the season with what you have now. Go in and see how everything fits, and then if necessary make a move to bring in outside help.

This seems like the most likely move from the Celtics, but with just over a month before tip off, both options are certainly still on the board. It will be interesting to see exactly what route the Celtics will take.

Featured Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

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