Should the Celtics pursue Carmelo Anthony in free agency? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Celtics have a potential hole to fill at power forward with Danilo Gallinari expected to miss the beginning of the 2022-23 regular season.
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It doesn't sound like any deal is imminent, but it would make sense for Boston to at least kick the tires on Anthony in free agency.
While the 38-year-old is well past his prime, he did average 13.3 points over just 26 minutes per game off the bench for the Lakers last season while shooting 37.5 percent from 3-point range. If the C's are looking for an early-season offensive spark off their bench while Gallinari is sidelined, Anthony certainly would fit that profile.
Anthony is a below-average defender, however, and would be the clear defensive weak link on a squad that prided itself on having the NBA's No. 1 scoring defense last season. He's also not a terrific ball-mover (1.0 assists per game last season) and may not fit head coach Ime Udoka's vision of quick ball movement on offense and switching everything on defense.
The Celtics' decision on Anthony may come down to their belief in their current group without Gallinari. Udoka could opt for more small-ball lineups featuring Grant Williams or Jayson Tatum at the four in Gallinari's absence. He could also give more minutes to Sam Hauser, who played sparingly as a rookie but is a strong outside shooter.
If Gallinari is only sidelined for a month or less, the Celtics may decide it's best to not mess with chemistry and keep their core intact. But if Udoka and president of basketball operations Brad Stevens believe their Gallinari-less rotation lacks a scoring punch, then Anthony is an intriguing option as a highly-accomplished veteran who can give the Celtics buckets off the bench.