It was on Sunday when Danilo Gallinari signed a two-year deal for $13.3 million with the Boston Celtics. And although the real news hitting Boston was the Brogden deal, this trade just might show to be a good move from Brad Stevens. The 14-year veteran can definitely be a help for Boston—a team who hopes to find themselves back in the NBA Finals. But what exactly can he do for the C’s? Well I’ll tell you.
Score off the bench
Let’s get this out the way, Gallinari is passed his prime. We’re far removed from the days where he was averaging close to 20 points a night, but that’s okay. What he can do is still put up points with his outside shooting. And with a now stacked starting five, he’ll be a great contribution to the Celtics’ bench. Which is something that Boston was missing in those finals when Jordan Poole was showing out for the Warriors. Here’s a guy that can give a solid 20 minutes a game. In his NBA career he averages 15 points, 38% from deep, and 4 rebounds.
Needed paint presence
Robert Williams is the starting center. Williams can jump out the gym, block shots, and do all the right things defensively. However, he doesn’t pose the same scoring threat that Gallinari does. The former Hawks Power Forward has good footwork on the block, and he can catch and shoot. Sure, Al Horford can still put up 20 points on a good night, but with his age, Gallinari might be the one who can keep up the pace in a 82 game season. Defensively, Robert holds the crown, hands down, but Gallinari can put some points on the board.
Another veteran on the team
If this past NBA Finals showed us one thing it’s that experience matters. The Celtics are a young team. Although Gallinari doesn’t have the winning experience like a Draymond Green, he’s been in the league long enough to know how to win. He’s traveled overseas to play professionally and has been through ups and downs. With young guys like Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum on the team—I’m sure they’ll appreciate another veteran on the team.
A guy that knows his role
This may come as a small factor, but in todays league, having a guy that knows he’s not ‘that guy’ is big. At one point Gallinari was a known figure in this league for his shooting and scoring, but not anymore. We’re not going to see him demand the ball, chuck up ill-advised shots, or throw a fit on the bench. He’s coming to Boston knowing he’s coming off the bench. Knowing that there’s high expectations. Knowing that the core group of stars are the ones driving the bus. Having a role player that knows he’s a role player is key to a championship squad.
The Celtics lacked depth last season. And after playing back-to-back playoff series that went 7 games, the fatigue started to show. Coach Ime Udoka played 8 players because, well… that’s all he had. He only had two big guys, and one of them was coming off injury and the other is on the older side. Gallinari provides Boston with depth in the playoffs and a long season. Now it’s just a matter of if guys can stay healthy for the length of an NBA season.