Danilo Gallinari’s recent knee injury, originally thought to be a meniscus tear but now confirmed to be an ACL tear, has caused the Boston Celtics to scramble here late in an offseason that they were arguably already one of the NBA’s top winners of.
Without the scoring-focused combo forward signed to alleviate the scoring burden on the team’s primary shot-creators on the wing (Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown), there’s now a glaring need for a scoring-focused forward that can alleviate Al Horford’s workload.
Carmelo Anthony has been mentioned as a possible Gallinari replacement, and while his efficiency has improved the last three seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers, he is in his late-30s and sounds more inclined to return to his native NYC than join what has been historically one of his biggest rivals.
Former lottery pick Jeremy Lamb was recently brought up by a reader in MassLive’s Brian Robb’s weekly Boston Celtics mailbag, but according to Robb, the presence of Payton Pritchard will more than likely preclude them signing Lamb — who struggled with his efficiency last season following a February 2021 ACL tear:
“Given (Lamb’s) struggles last year, I don’t see the Celtics making a play for him as their roster currently stands. Their backcourt is already very crowded (Payton Pritchard is no sure thing for minutes) so bringing in an offense-first guy who struggled with his jumper post ACL tear doesn’t seem like a good bet for this group.”
The Boston Celtics should consider signing Jeremy Lamb to a minimum contract
While Jeremy Lamb undoubtedly struggled last season to a degree that a flyer isn’t even worth it, there should be some slack granted to the 30-year-old UCONN product. He was not only coming off an ACL tear, but he was also playing on rebuilding squads in Indiana and Sacramento that didn’t prioritize him in their rotation.
If the Cs apply for the disabled player exception, thereby wiping out the chance of Danilo Gallinari returning in 2022, Lamb could be worth it. That probably wouldn’t even be needed to land Lamb, though.
A mere minimum contract, if even a non-guaranteed training camp deal, would be well worth offering to the former 15/5/5 threat. At worst, he’d provide injury insurance for the other members of the Boston Celtics and at best, Ime Udoka would have another shot-creating weapon.