Danilo Gallinari ‘focusing on rehab’, ‘shocked’ by trade from Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics (Photo by Giuseppe Cottini/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Giuseppe Cottini/Getty Images) /

This offseason has not only been filled with surprises for the fans, but the players as well with Danilo Gallinari admitting he believed his next season would be with the Boston Celtics.

The Italian forward Danilo Gallinari’s love for the Boston Celtics is clear. Even after the news of the three-team deal that sent him to the Washington Wizards, Gallinari has posted workout videos from inside the Auerbach Center. Similar to Marcus Smart, the veteran had no idea that his next season was not going to be in green. First reported by MassLive’s Garrett Cote during an event this past week in Massachusetts, Gallinari had a meeting with the Celtics days before the trade went down. Six days before he was shipped, the stretch big opted into his $6.8 million player option to return to Boston.

Due to how that supposedly went, the former No. 6 overall selection had little indication he was going to be included in a deal. The forward admitted that this is what happens in the association. Everything comes at you fast and unexpectedly. His focus is completely on next season with his future still up in the air when it comes to his 2023-2024 team.

In his conversation with Cote, Gallinari expressed the fact that he has had no conversations with the Wizards about buying him out. If the clearly rebuilding organization were to do so, the Italian would become an unrestricted free agent. Injuries have simply been bumps in the road of Gallinari’s career as he told Cote that he had no intention of leaving the game behind him.

For a player that has that kind of motivation during his 16th season just shows how much love he has for the game. Sitting on the sideline for two of those has not had an effect on the attitude that he continues to take into everyday life.

Back in February, Gallinari appeared on “View From the Rafters: Behind the Scenes of the Boston Celtics” with Celtics Insiders Marc D’Amico and Sean Grande. He spoke about his connectivity with the city of Boston, and his rehab among other topics.

The franchise embraced him, and he accepted it all. There are few pieces to look back on Gallinari’s time with the green and white, but that conversation is one of them.


The players know the NBA is a business, but it is only when you are in a trade like this that is actually sinks in. The former Knick walked his childhood team throughout the 2022-2023 campaign while rehabbing his torn ACL for the second time in his career. Never did that crush his spirit. In the midst of a postseason run, Gallinari showed up each night on the Boston Celtics bench dressed to impress. The 38% career 3-point shooter watched as the green and white fumbled a chance at the Eastern Conference crown, shooting 16/77 from beyond the arc in Games 6 and 7 of the ECF combined.

Danilo Gallinari leaves Boston Celtics stunned by deal after first season

Growing up, he was in a household that adored Larry Bird. His eyes lit up as he held up his No. 8 jersey when his signing to the Boston Celtics became official. The dream of donning the historic green and white turned to dust when Brad Stevens delivered a gut punch to two players that enjoyed every part of what this franchise was about.

Despite the fact that he left the organization without playing a game, it felt like there was no place in the NBA he would rather be. You would think having a positive meeting with the franchise would not mean getting dealt days later, but in a professional business like the NBA, that is just how the ball bounces.