NBA veteran Danilo Gallinari is already making himself a fan favorite with the Boston Celtics. The Atlanta Hawks traded Gallinari to the San Antonio Spurs as part of a package for Dejounte Murray. The Spurs waived Gallinari, and the Celtics quickly pounced on him, signing him to a two-year deal.
After the signing, Gallinari posted a picture of himself in a Celtics uniform on social media with the caption, “the place I’ve always dreamed.” Now, he can feel right at home after former Celtic Malik Fitts was traded to the Indiana Pacers.
The Boston Celtics added two key pieces in offseason moves
The Celtics had such a roller-coaster season, but they’ve made it clear they are a force in the Eastern Conference. After underachieving their way to a 25-25 record through the first 50 games of the season, Boston found its groove.
Boston closed out the season on a 26-6 run and then passed a grueling Eastern Conference playoff test by beating the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Miami Heat. They lost to a better and more experienced Golden State Warriors team in the 2022 NBA Finals.
As soon as it all ended, the Celtics got right back to work. Lack of depth was a problem as the Celtics used eight players throughout the postseason. Brad Stevens, Boston’s president of basketball operations, made some early offseason noise.
Stevens shipped five players — Aaron Nesmith, Daniel Theis, Nick Stauskas, Malik Fitts, and Juwan Morgan — and a first-round draft pick to the Pacers for veteran guard Malcolm Brogdon. He then turned around and signed Gallinari after he cleared waivers.
Boston added two players who will play significant minutes. They didn’t have to give up any of their core players.
The trade of Fitts should make Gallinari feel right at home in Boston
Gallinari signed a two-year deal worth a reported $13.3 million. In the photoshopped image Gallinari posted of himself in a Celtics uniform, he was wearing the No. 8, a number he’s always worn in the NBA. It’s a number that makes him feel comfortable and has meaning to him.
According to Celtics radio play-by-play announcer Sean Grande, it’s special to him because he was born on Aug. 8, 1988 (8/8/88).
When it comes to jersey numbers for the Celtics, newcomers can’t be too picky. With so many jersey numbers retired, players can’t always get the number they want.
Gallinari was lucky. Fitts was the last Boston player to wear No. 8, so it became available when was included in the deal with the Pacers.
Notable Celtics players to wear No. 8 include Kemba Walker, Antoine Walker, and Scott Wedman.
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