Danilo Gallinari‘s first exposure to the NBA came in the form of Larry Bird tapes that he watched while growing up in Italy, so it was an easy decision to join the Celtics in free agency, writes Jared Weiss of The Athletic. At age 33 and after 14 years in the league, Gallinari gets to live out his dream of playing for Bird’s former franchise.
“I think it’s something that is honestly gonna motivate me,” he said. “If I can do and achieve, team-wise, just a little bit of what he achieved in the past for the Celtics, it will be amazing.”
The Bulls would have given Gallinari more money, according to Weiss, but his affection for the Celtics prompted him to take their offer of $13.3MM over the next two seasons. Now that he’s officially in Boston, the forward wants to be part of bringing an 18th NBA championship to the city.
“You walk even in this facility, you look around and see what’s going on around the banners and the history and everything the Celtics were about, it was an easy choice,” Gallinari said.
There’s more from Boston:
- Center Robert Williams isn’t showing any ill effects from playing in the postseason after undergoing meniscus surgery in March, a source tells Sean Deveney of Heavy. Williams dealt with frequent knee soreness and swelling, but he was still able to be on the court for 17 of Boston’s 24 games in its run to the NBA Finals. He hasn’t experienced any knee issues since then, according to Deveney’s source, and will resume training after a six-week rest period.
- Al Horford is likely to see a reduction in playing time next season, Brian Robb of MassLive speculates in a mailbag column. He points out that Horford was fresher heading into this season because he was coming off a year in which he played just 28 games for Oklahoma City. The changes the Celtics have made so far this summer have created a deeper bench and provide more opportunity to rest Horford, particularly in back-to-backs.
- The Celtics aren’t likely to get involved in Donovan Mitchell trade talks, Robb adds in a separate story, citing league sources, but he notes that there are other ways for Boston to benefit. Robb points to Jarred Vanderbilt as a low-cost option that the Jazz might make available.