NBA rumors: Carmelo Anthony a Celtics free agent target?

The Boston Celtics have a potential hole to fill with power forward Danilo Gallinari expected to miss the beginning of the 2022-23 regular season.

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Former Los Angeles Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony has been “deemed a potential signer” for the Celtics following Gallinari’s torn meniscus. Bally Sports’ Brandon Robinson reported on Wednesday.

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It doesn’t sound like a deal is imminent, but it makes sense that Boston would at least kick Anthony’s tires in free agency.

The 38-year-old is past his prime, but he averaged 13.3 points in just 26 minutes off the bench last season with the Lakers, shooting 37.5% from 3-point range. If C are looking for an early-season offensive spark off the bench while Gallinari is out, Anthony would certainly fit that profile.

But Anthony is a below-average defender and would be the obvious defensive underdog for a team that was proud of last season’s No. 1 scoring defense in the NBA. 1.0 assists per game last season) may not fit head coach Ime Udoka’s vision of moving the ball quickly on offense and switching everything on defense.

The Celtics’ decision over Anthony may come down to their belief in the current group without Gallinari. Udoka could select a small his-ball lineup with Grant Williams or Jayson Tatum at four in Gallinari’s absence. He also played sparingly as a rookie, but was able to give more time to strong outside shooter Sam Hauser.

If Gallinari is sidelined in less than a month, the Celtics may decide it’s best not to ruin chemistry and leave the core alone. But if Udoka and President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens think a rotation without Gallinari lacks scoring potential, Anthony is a highly accomplished player who can give the Celtics the bucket off the bench. As a veteran, it’s an interesting choice.

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