Eastern Notes: Gallinari, Hauser, Durant, Holden, Pistons

Danilo Gallinari‘s knee injury could open up some playing time for second-year Celtics forward Sam Hauser, according to Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. Gallinari suffered a meniscus tear during a World Cup Qualifier while playing for Italy and there’s no timetable for his recovery.

Hauser, who remained with the Celtics by signing a three-year deal in early July, can provide some perimeter shooting as Gallinari mends, though he needs to improve defensively. Boston could also go with more small-ball lineups with Grant Williams or even Jayson Tatum playing the center spot.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Kevin Durant and the Nets have smoothed over their differences for the time being and Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report delves into the question of whether they can continue to maintain a peaceful relationship. It’s likely the team will keep an awkward status quo while hoping to make a deep playoff run, Pincus writes. If things go awry, they can revisit offers for Durant at the trade deadline or next offseason.
  • Speaking of the Nets, former Euroleague standout J.R. Holden is expected to be named GM of their G League affiliate in Long Island, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets. Holden would replace Matt Riccardi, who accepted a front office position with Dallas this summer.
  • While there’s a good vibe coming out of Detroit, it will be very difficult for the Pistons to improve enough just to make the play-in tournament, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com points out. They may be better than they were last season but none of last year’s playoff and play-in tournament participants, save perhaps Charlotte, project to take a big step backward. At the same time, lottery teams New York and Washington have made major roster additions.
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