By Dante James— Correspondent
Just as the Celtics were ready to add more depth to their roster and jump back from their amazing series in the NBA championship against the Golden State Warriors, The Celtics received very disappointing news.
Forward Danilo Gallinari has recently been diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee for the second time in his career. Gallinari was playing for Italy in the FIBA World Cup Qualifier against Georgia on August 27th when he caught the ball on a fast break opportunity and seemed to land awkwardly after trying to make a pass in mid-air. He limped over to the sideline holding the back of his left knee, then was quickly escorted back to the locker room.
At first Gallinari was diagnosed with a torn meniscus, but after further evaluation he was diagnosed with a torn ACL.”This has been a tough week for me as I learned the extent of my injury,” Gallinari said in a recent statement.
Gallinari’s return is still unknown, but typically players who suffer from an ACL tear are out for the year or longer. “This game means everything to me and not being able to be on the court with my Celtics teammates hurts…I will work tirelessly with the Celtics staff to return to the court as soon as I can,” Gallinari said.
Not having Gallinari present is going to have a huge impact on the Celtics, as he is an NBA veteran with much experience. The Celtics are going to have to find someone who can step up and take a bigger role than expected in this upcoming season. “[Carmelo] Anthony fits the bill, especially considering the ten-time All-Star appears willing to take a bench role,” explained Kendrick Perkins, a former Celtics big man.
Although Gallinari’s injury is devastating for the Celtics, it could open the door for a player like Sam Hauser, the Virginia product, who went undrafted in 2021. “Hauser will live and die by the three as he looks to carve out a role with the C’s next season. His shooting ability is the reason Stevens confidently inked him to a three-year contract,” says Justin Legar, a writer for NBC Sports.
Tim Bontemps, a writer for ESPN, says the contract will help a lot. “[It] will give the Celtics $3.2 million to either sign, trade, or claim a player on an expiring contract worth up to that amount,” said Bontempts. A rumor has been swaying that the Celtics have a chance to get Carmelo Anthony from this which could be game-changing for the Celtics. With Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown already being great scorers for the Celtics, adding another scorer could take Boston back to the NBA finals.
Cole Huff, a sports writer for USA Today, says Carmelo Anthony will do well. “He’s played his last few NBA seasons in a complementary role next to some of the league’s very best superstars — Damian Lillard and LeBron James — and had success. Playing with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown should be easy,” he said.