Celtics Rumors: Danilo Gallinari Plans to Sign 2-Year Contract After Spurs Waivers

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 1, 2022

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 26: Danilo Gallinari #8 of the Atlanta Hawks dribbles against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round at FTX Arena on April 26, 2022 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Veteran forward Danilo Gallinari is reportedly set to sign with the Boston Celtics after he's released by the San Antonio Spurs and clears waivers.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Gallinari's preference to join the Celtics. Brian Robb of MassLive added the 33-year-old Italian is expected to sign a two-year contract using the team's $6.5 million taxpayer mid-level exception.

The Spurs acquired Gallinari in the blockbuster Dejounte Murray trade with the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.

Gallinari is an ideal fit for Boston on paper as a stretch 4 who can make an offensive impact without needing a ton of touches.

He averaged 12.4 points while attempting 9.4 shots per game across two seasons with the Hawks. His usage rate last season (18.4 percent) hit its lowest mark since his rookie year with the New York Knicks in 2008-09.

His career field-goal percentage (42.8) is subpar, but he's knocked down 38.2 percent of his threes and 87.7 percent of his free throws in 13 NBA seasons.

Although Gallinari is in his mid-30s, he said after the season that he came out of the campaign without any physical concerns.

"I felt great. My body felt great," he told reporters in April after the Miami Heat eliminated the Hawks from the playoffs. "I'm very happy with the way that I was able to play all these games and sustain the season."

The Celtics' starting lineup is locked in with Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford and Robert Williams III, so Gallinari is ticketed for a reserve role in Boston.

He could form a platoon with Grant Williams for reserve minutes at the 4. He'll handle a larger share of the minutes when Boston is seeking offense, and Williams will step in when it's more of a defensive situation.

The Celtics figure to remain among the NBA's championship contenders heading into the 2022-23 campaign, so proven depth will be important coming off a year where they played 106 games counting the playoffs.

Gallinari can take some offensive pressure off Tatum and Brown while stepping into the starting lineup if needed, giving a nice boost to the rotation.