B/R expects Boston Celtics to be outbid for Danilo Gallinari and T.J. Warren

BSS' Dan Greenberg is hoping for a Willis Reed NBA Finals moment from injured Boston Celtics combo forward Danilo Gallinari Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
BSS' Dan Greenberg is hoping for a Willis Reed NBA Finals moment from injured Boston Celtics combo forward Danilo Gallinari Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Celtics were not predicted to land either Danilo Gallinari or T.J. Warren with their taxpayer’s MLE in free agency according to Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley in his latest piece titled ‘Celtics Rumors: Playing Fact or Fiction with Latest Buzz Ahead of NBA Free Agency‘. Both players are two years removed from averaging 18 points per game or more but have had their stock fallen in recent years for different reasons.

Warren missed the entire 2021-22 season and all but four games of the 2020-21 season with a left foot injury while under contract with the Indiana Pacers. He collected $12.7 million in salary this past season and $11.7 million in the campaign preceding it.

As for Gallinari, he was just bought out by the San Antonio Spurs after being included as a salary filler in the Dejounte Murray trade to the Atlanta Hawks. Gallinari’s $21.4 million in salary was accompanied by a 2023 first-round draft pick via Charlotte that’s lottery-protected, two unprotected Atlanta firsts in 2025 and 2027, and the rights to a pick swap in 2026.

The Boston Celtics have confirmed interest in Gallinari, per Boston beat reporter Mark Murphy:

Meanwhile, Jay King of The Athletic believes signing Warren with the TPMLE is the obvious move to make:

With that said, Boston is not alone in their interest for the pair. The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat are all in on Gallinari, while the Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and Cleveland Cavaliers all have registered interest in Warren.

Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley believes that the Boston Celtics will ultimately end up with neither of the two sharpshooting combo forwards, succumbing to the competition on the open market this summer:

"“Gallinari and Warren could both be available for cheap, since the former’s numbers have declined and injuries have wrecked the latter’s last two seasons. Still, each can fill a coveted niche, so Boston won’t be alone in the bidding. Verdict: Fact that the Celtics have interest; fiction that either forward will be Boston-bound.”"

Assessing the fit of Danilo Gallinari and T.J. Warren on the Boston Celtics

Just so the Houdini is clear here, it’s an either/or situation when it comes to the Celtics signing either Danilo Gallinari or T.J. Warren. Neither is going to take a veteran’s minimum deal, and one (or both) could end up being too pricey for Boston’s tastes anyway. If both were sold on Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens’ vision for a sixth-man role at either forward spot, it’d be a tough call to make for the front office regarding who should get the six million dollars being offered.

Warren’s scoring would be more welcomed, though it’s not clear what his game looks like following a year off. At 28, he still has plenty of youth on his side, so he shouldn’t fall off too hard if he even does at all.

Gallinari’s 2021-22 season saw him put up 17 points per 75 possessions on 38% shooting from the floor. He isn’t far removed from being an impact player and can still capably fill in as an emergency starter should injuries occur.

What it comes down to for the Cs is gambling on Warren overcoming his injuries. Gallinari is a safer option, but Warren has a higher ceiling being smacked dab in the middle of his prime as opposed to the Italian forward who is leaving his.

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