On October 30, when the Boston Celtics face the Washington Wizards, Danilo Gallinari will get the chance to show his former team that he’s still got something left in the tank.
Gallinari signed with the Celtics in the summer of 2022, hoping to provide a scoring punch off the bench, but tore his ACL representing Italy in a World Cup qualifier game in the offseason and missed the entirety of the 2022-23 season.
He was expected to debut for Boston this fall but was dealt to the Wizards as part of the three-team trade that brought Kristaps Porzingis to Boston and shipped Marcus Smart to Memphis. Now, rather than contributing to a title contender, he’ll be taking on a bench role for a group projected to win 24.5 games this season.
Danilo Gallinari expressed his desire to match up against Boston Celtics
Over the summer, Gallinari expressed excitement at the prospect of playing against the team he never got to suit up for.
"“I can’t wait to play against Boston. When the schedule will be unveiled, I’ll put an X on the games we will play at Boston against the Celtics.”"
Gallinari grew up in Italy as a Boston Celtics fan, and was eager to contribute to the team after a year of rehabilitation, but was not able to make a full recovery in time for the playoffs. Now, he’s a member of a rebuilding Washington Wizards roster headlined by Jordan Poole and Kyle Kuzma.
So far this season, Gallinari has averaged 10.5 minutes on 60% shooting in just 12.5 minutes of action.
For his career, he holds averages of 15.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, and he surpassed the 18-point mark as recently as the 2019-20 season as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Gallinari was selected by the Knicks as the sixth overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft and has also enjoyed stints with the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, and Atlanta Hawks. He’s only averaged single-digit scoring numbers once in his 15-year NBA career, during his rookie season in New York.