Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

Danilo Gallinari shoots for the Atlanta Hawks against the New Orleans Pelicans on Oct. 27, 2021. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

The Boston Celtics probably could’ve used Danilo Gallinari at some point this season.

President of Basketball Ops Brad Stevens signed Gallinari in the first place, presumably, because he knew the team needed scoring off the bench. They did get that at the guard position with the addition of Malcolm Brogdon, but still relatively lacked a scoring punch at the wing after Jayson Tatum.

It’s possible that Gallinari, who missed the entire 2022-23 season after tearing his ACL in late August, can finally give them the bench scoring they still need in 2024.

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  • Gallinari has officially picked up his player option for the 2023-24 season, as reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday. He is now on the books for $6.8 million.

    Wojnarowski reported that Gallinari “nearly reached a full recovery” from his ACL injury, the same left knee that he injured back in 2013. As for his status on the team going forward, Woj says Gallinari is “expected to be a sizable role” next season.

  • Apr 10, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Danilo Gallinari (8) reacts after scoring a basket during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

    Danilo Gallinari (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

  • It’s worth noting that it sounds like Stevens is looking to modify his roster underneath Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

    Brian Robb of MassLive reported Thursday that the C’s “have been one of the more active teams in the league in trade talks” ahead of next Thursday’s NBA Draft, and that said trade talks are not big ones but focused on “potential tweaks to the supporting cast.”

    That’s probably a good sign for Gallinari. He’d be a candidate to become a trade chip in a bigger deal where Stevens has to match the money. But Robb also reported that the Celtics are “investigating moving a guard to improve other areas of the roster.” Gallinari has always been more of a small forward than a shooting guard.

  • In light of that, the Celtics’ most likely trade chips appear to be Brogdon, Marcus Smart, Derrick White, and Payton Pritchard. They also drafted 2-guard JD Davison in the second round of the 2022 draft.

    We’ll see if Stevens wants to move a guard to improve at forward, but it sounds like he would feel good about a healthy Gallinari coming off the bench as a secondary wing scorer in the 2023-24 season.

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    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.

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