Danilo Gallinari won't rule out postseason return


Danilo Gallinari signed a two-year, $13.3M contract with the Celtics in the 2022 offseason, with hopes of being a contributor to a Finals contender. The 13-year NBA vet has spent the entirety of this season rehabbing from a torn ACL he suffered while playing for the Italian national team during a FIBA World Cup qualifier game in August. It was the same ACL Gallinari had previously torn, which caused him to miss the entire 2013-2014 season.

Gallinari has remained determined to make a return to the court for the 2022-2023 season, updating his road to recovery via social media posts and even traveling with the Celtics on road trips.

With just nine games remaining in the regular season, Gallinari still isn’t ruling out a return for the Celtics’ upcoming postseason run.

“Playoffs are still in my head,” Gallinari said Thursday. “I don’t know if it’s going to happen or not. But from a motivation standpoint, it’s always something that motivates me more.”

Gallinari noted his rehab process is on pace for what was scheduled when he began it. However, he “still (has) a long way,” as much as he also added, “it’s going well.”

The 6-foot-10 forward has yet to start practicing in three-on-three and four-on-four situations, but he is getting closer.

Through 13 years in the NBA, Gallinari has only made the playoffs six times, appearing in a total of eight series. So, when you have a chance to join a team that has NBA Finals expectations, the eagerness to return is understandable.

“At this stage, maybe you want to push a little more,” the 34-year-old said. “But at the same time, yes I’m older, but I'm far from being done with basketball. So you don’t want to risk it too much.”

Gallinari would be a nice addition for the Celtics if they can get him back in time for the postseason. He is one of the NBA’s best shooting big men, shooting 38.2% from deep across his 13-year career. Gallinari would also provide size, on top of being another perimeter threat to a Celtics team that loves to shoot the three-ball.

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