After veteran forward Danilo Gallinari suffered a torn ACL that likely rules him out for the 2022-23 season, the Boston Celtics have an opening for an experienced scorer off the bench. It appears the team already has a target in mind.
The Celtics reportedly are eyeing Carmelo Anthony, and Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe (h/t Real GM) noted that talks are "starting to gain some traction because Anthony may be the best shooting forward left on the market, and he has shown to be productive offensively despite his age."
The 38-year-old is a free agent after spending the 2021-22 season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Anthony mostly came off the bench and was a solid contributor, averaging 13.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 26 minutes while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. He had 20 or more points in 11 of the 69 games he played.
The No. 3 overall pick in 2003, Anthony is still chasing the NBA championship that has eluded him throughout his nearly 20 years in the league. Joining the Celtics could give him his best chance at competing for a title as his career is winding down.
Boston reached the NBA Finals last season but lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games. The Celtics retained virtually their entire core led by Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and 2022 Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart. The team also added point guard Malcolm Brogdon in a trade with the Indiana Pacers this offseason.
The Celtics were hoping for Gallinari to provide some depth and veteran leadership off the bench, but his season was derailed after re-injuring his previously surgically-repaired knee while competing for Italy in a FIBA World Cup qualifier. If Boston is able to reach a deal with Anthony, he should seamlessly fit that role for the team.