There is a decent chance that Danilo Gallinari may never suit up for the Boston Celtics this season. After Shams Charania of The Athletic confirmed that Gallinari had torn his ACL during the EuroBasket tournament on September 2, he gave a timeline for when Gallinari could return to the court.
As of September 18, Gallinari has yet to have surgery on his torn ACL. Combining that with Gallinari’s history of knee issues – he tore the exact same ACL in 2013 – and it’s not looking good. The Celtics have not ruled Gallinari out for the season, but an ACL tear leads to a player being out indefinitely. So that begs the question, should the Celtics trade Gallinari for someone who can play?
Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston asked this question to Brian Robb of MassLive on “Winning Plays” on September 16.
“Realistically, it makes sense,” Robb said. He then added that it would depend on how the Celtics do to start the 2022-23 season. “If they’re running a fine-tuned machine mid-season and Luke Kornet becomes a better version of Daniel Theis or something like that. They’ll be like, ‘What are we going to get that’s going to cost more money to get another guy? What do we need to do that for? Or we can just get someone on the buyout market.’ But if not, then that’s certainly a trade chip that you’re going to have to explore using, and that sucks.”
Gallinari Took Less Money to Sign With Boston
Jared Weiss of The Athletic reported on July 15 that Danilo Gallinari turned down more money from the Chicago Bulls to play for the Celtics. Weiss explained Gallinari’s thought process leading up to
“As Gallinari looked for a new home after the Hawks traded him to the Spurs and he agreed to a buyout, coming to Boston felt like a golden opportunity. He turned down more money in Chicago to take the Celtics’ $13.3 million offer over the next two seasons, which isn’t too hard a choice considering the 33-year-old will still hit $200 million in career earnings when his deal expires in 2024.”
To trade Gallinari after he took less money to sign with the Celtics would be a cold move by President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens. Then again, on top of what the Celtics are paying him, Gallinari will also be paid $13 million by the San Antonio Spurs during the 2022-23 season, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN.
Proposed Trade Sends Gallinari to Hornets
Heavy’s Jack Simone outlined a trade in which the Celtics would offload Gallinari, among others, to the Charlotte Hornets for Kelly Oubre Jr. on September 11.
The trade would look like this.
Celtics receive: Kelly Oubre Jr.
Hornets receive: Gallinari, Luke Kornet, minimum contract player, 2025 1st-Round Pick (Top-20 Protected)
Simone explained why he believes both sides would agree to a deal like that.
“For the Celtics, this would be an easy trade to make. They would get an extra wing who could provide them with solid shooting and scoring off the bench for a fairly low price. He’s not a great defender, but for what they would be giving up, it would be a solid addition.
“As for Charlotte, if they fail to push for the Play-In Tournament, they could look to offload Oubre’s contract for a pick. This will be the final year of his deal, so getting something in return for him could turn into a priority for Charlotte.”
In the 76 games Oubre played for the Hornets last year, he averaged 15 points and four rebounds while shooting 44 percent from the field and 34.5 percent from three. He may have a bigger role with the Hornets this season since Miles Bridges will be out indefinitely due to his legal issues.