Could Danilo Gallinari play for the Celtics this season?
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In the midst of a rocky second half of the season for the Celtics, many fans have forgotten about Danilo Gallinari. The 34 year old forward signed a two year contract with the Celtics this past offseason, but suffered an ACL injury while playing for the Italian National Team prior to the beginning of the regular season.
While there was originally no timetable for Gallinari's return, it seems that he is recovering much quicker than originally expected. Just today, Danilo posted this video on Twitter:
While it is obviously important to make sure that Danilo is 100% healthy before joining the team, one cannot deny how much he would immediately impact the current Celtics roster.
The 6'10 forward has a career 3PT percentage of 38.2% on over 5 attempts per game. For a Celtics team that loves to shoot threes, but doesn't always shoot them consistently, Gallinari would be an excellent backup wing to help space the floor.
One of the most exciting aspects of Gallinari's potential return is how much it would help to keep Jayson Tatum fresh. Tatum averages the second most minutes per game in the entire NBA at 37.3 minutes per game, while playing 65 of the 70 games played to date.
Jayson Tatum's massive minute load may be playing a factor into his inconsistent offensive play. Additionally, the Celtics offensive rating is 118.7 with Tatum on the floor, and 107.8 when he is sitting, per NBA.com.
With Jayson Tatum's astoundingly high number of minutes along with his drastic on/off numbers, the Celtics desperately need to find a way to get his minutes down before the playoffs.
If he can get healthy, Danilo Gallinari would undoubtedly be a perfect addition to this Celtics roster. Danilo could easily fill a backup wing role and help bring down Jayson Tatums minutes. The likelihood of him suiting up for the team continues to get higher and higher as the postseason nears, but we will have to wait and see.