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Celtics Rumors: Latest on Danilo Gallinari Trade Rumblings and More

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2015

Danny Ainge, Boston Celtics president of basketball operations, listens before responding to a reporter's question during an end of season media availability at the NBA team's practice and training facility Thursday, April 30, 2015, in Waltham, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Stephan Savoia/Associated Press

The Boston Celtics are by no means the most active or eye-popping team this offseason when it comes to moves.

While major franchises like the San Antonio Spurs made gigantic splashes, the Celtics were content to remain on the quiet side with smart additions in the draft such as Terry Rozier and R.J. Hunter.

Like other rebuilding franchises, the Celtics seem in it for the long haul. If a major deal would present itself, sure, the team would perhaps act. But building around a solid young core and waiting for such a deal can go hand in hand these days.

None of this means the Celtics are a team to ignore, though. In fact, the team continues to come up in recent rumblings as it looks to make further additions and clear cap space. Here's the latest.

Danilo Gallinari Trade?

Willie J. Allen/Associated Press

It is no secret the Celtics could use more shooting on the outside, especially after taking a hefty amount of criticism for the selection of Rozier in the draft, who plays a lot like Marcus Smart.

Whether such an allegation will prove true doesn't matter, but what does is the lack of shooting on paper.

To remedy the issue, it sounds like the Celtics would like to strike a deal with the Denver Nuggets centered on Danilo Gallinari.

Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reported the rumblings: "The Celtics recently spoke with Denver about a trade for Danilo Gallinari, but those discussions did not get anywhere. However, multiple sources told the Herald that talks could be revived and that the situation bears watching."

Bulpett also took to Twitter to suggest there seems to be a divide in Denver:

Steve Bulpett @SteveBHoop

Hearing varying reports about Gallinari's availability. Some connected say DEN not looking to move him; others say it's open to discussion.

It's not easy to figure out what in the world the Nuggets want to do, but there is no question the Celtics feature plenty of tradable assets.

As for Gallinari, he's an ideal fit in Boston in more ways than one. He is 26 years old and averaged 12.4 points per game last year while shooting 36 percent from downtown, so it's clear he can help in an area of need.

Perhaps best of all, Gallinari is an $11.5 million cap hit this year, per Spotrac, before he becomes a free agent. If the one-year experiment doesn't work, the Celtics clear a boatload of space for future efforts in free agency.

Sometimes where there is smoke, a fire emerges, and this may be the case here if both parties see a benefit from working something out.

The Hunt for Cap Space

Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

In the end, any move the Celtics make at this point might just prove simple cap management, with an improvement in an area of need, such as the hypothetical addition of Gallinari, a nice bonus.

With such a situation in mind, it makes sense most of the rumblings around the team pertain to cash.

Bulpett's colleague, Mark Murphy, revealed the team may hunt for other transactions just to complete incoming swaps:

The Celtics are expected to take more time this week to explore trade options, and that means maximizing their $9 million-plus in salary cap space.

That means delaying completion of the Gerald Wallace/David Lee trade, with the ongoing possibility that either Phil Pressey or Chris Babb could be included to make up the salary difference.

It could also mean another trade, though according to a team source nothing is imminent.

Remember, the Celtics agreed to a trade for David Lee of the Golden State Warriors, a necessary addition down low. As long as the transaction doesn't fall through in epic fashion, the Celtics will receive a veteran who averaged 18.2 points and 9.3 boards in 2013 before the team moved away from a reliance on bigger, slower players last season.

The suggestion the Celtics aren't done is the real nugget here, though. With a potential interest in Gallinari and a cap-space tightrope to walk, Boston's offseason of moves might be far from final.

For fans, such a thought is nothing but a good thing. Stay tuned.

All stats and info via ESPN.com unless otherwise specified. 

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