Six players Celtics could look to replace Gallinari after ACL injury appeared first on NBC Sports Boston
The outlook for Boston Celtics forward Danilo Gallinari’s knee injury worsened Friday when the team announced he has a torn ACL.
The initial diagnosis was a torn left meniscus. This update is obviously much worse and will likely sideline Gallinari for most if not all of the 2022-23 NBA season.
The Celtics signed Gallinari as a free agent to provide bench depth and scoring, among other things.
How do they fill his role now?
Below is a list of potential Gallinari replacements the Celtics could pursue. It’s not a large group of players, but that’s to be expected this deep into the offseason.
Keep in mind that the Celtics still have two Negotiable Player Exceptions (TPE), one for $5.9 million that expires in February and another for $6.9 million that expires on January 19th.
Club: Free agent
2021-22 statistics: 13.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 1.0 APG
Carmelo Anthony is a future Hall of Famer, and while he’s no longer an elite offensive player, he can still provide valuable scoring off the bench.
The veteran forward has shot 37.5 percent or better from 3-point range over the past three seasons. He also never averaged less than 13.3 points per game in a single season. His defense is obviously a challenge at this stage of his career, but the Celtics are loaded with enough good perimeter defenders to overcome Anthony’s shortcomings in that area.
Anthony was “considered a potential candidate” for the Celtics after Gallinari’s injury, Brandon Robinson of Bally Sports reported on Wednesday. He would be a cheap pickup as an unrestricted free agent.
Anthony likely could get a bigger role on another team, but for someone who ranks among the most talented players in major league history without a championship ring, the chance to win one in Boston could be enticing.
Club: Utah Jazz
Contract: Signed through 2022-23 at a salary of $6.18 million, plus a $6.48 million player option for 2023-24
2021-22 statistics: 8.1 PPG, 4.4 RPB, 78.5 FT%
The Celtics reportedly had interest in Gay as a free agent in the 2021 offseason, but he signed with the Jazz. Now that the Jazz are in the midst of a full rebuild following the trades of Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, it wouldn’t be surprising if Gay and other veterans leave Utah in the coming months. Gay is still a decent scorer, a good free throw shooter and can play small forward or power forward. He would also give Boston a bit more size at 6-foot-8 and 255 pounds. His $6.1 million salary would match the TPE the Celtics created in the Juancho Hernangomez trade.
Club: New York Knicks
Contract: Signed through 2022-23 at a salary of $5.95 million (final year of rookie contract)
2021-22 statistics: 10.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.0 APG
Reddish failed to live up to expectations after being selected 10th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks. He was traded to the Knicks in January and has so far failed to make a meaningful impact in New York. In fact, Marc Berman of the New York Post reported earlier this week that Reddish wants a trade and a bigger role.
Finding a bigger role could be difficult in Boston given the talent and depth on the Celtics’ roster, but it could give Reddish a chance to shine in a title contender and set himself up for better opportunities next offseason. He has great length, good defensive skills and shoots 90% from the foul line. His offensive game needs work, but he can easily put up eight to 12 points on most nights.
Reddish’s salary would fit into the Celtics’ $6.9 million TPE.
Club: Free agent
2021-22 statistics: 12.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 87.1 FT%
Aldridge played in 47 games for the Brooklyn Nets last season and scored in double figures for the 16th straight year. He would give the Celtics scoring in the mid and low post, some much-needed rebounding and size, and plenty of playoff experience (72 career postseason games). He’s not a 3-point shooter, but he’s shot over 80% from the free throw line most of his career.
Aldridge should also be quite familiar with Celtics coach Ime Udoka, who played with the veteran power forward in Portland and coached him in San Antonio.
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Club: Detroit Pistons
Contract: Signed through 2023-24 with a salary between $12-13 million per year
2021-22 statistics: 9.1 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.8 APG
What about an Olynyk reunion?
The Celtics selected Olynyk 13th overall in the 2013 NBA draft and she played four seasons in Boston. He never developed into a star, but he had some memorable moments, including a stunning performance in Game 7 of the 2017 second-round playoff series win over the Washington Wizards.
Olynyk would provide the Celtics with size, rebounding and outside shooting. He shot 36.3 percent from 3-point range last season with the Pistons. He is also a quality free throw shooter and has averaged 10.1 points per game in his career.
Olynyk would have to be acquired via trade and would not be a rental. However, the final year of his contract in 2023-24 is only partially guaranteed, according to Spotrac. His $12 million salary may also be difficult for the Celtics to acquire because they don’t have many mid-range salaries between $8-14 million to match.
Club: Portland Trail Blazers
Contract: Signed through 2022-23 at a salary of $4,097,561
2021-22 statistics: 5.7 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 1.8 APG
Remember when the Celtics reportedly wanted to trade Winslow during the 2015 NBA Draft, but Michael Jordan and his Charlotte Hornets weren’t interested and took Frank Kaminski with the No. 9 overall pick?
The C’s dodged a bullet as Winslow failed to live up to expectations in seven pro seasons. He’s not a star and he’s not a valuable 3-and-D player. That said, he could play a role at the end of the bench and provide length (6-foot-6, 222 pounds), defensive versatility and some scoring.