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Report: Danilo Gallinari exercises player option, will return to Celtics

The soon-to-be 35-year-old is coming back to Boston.

2023 NBA Playoffs - Boston Celtics v Miami Heat Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Danilo Gallinari has exercised his $6.8 million player option for the 2023-24 season and will return to the Boston Celtics, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Boston signed the 13-year NBA veteran to a two-year contract (with a second-year player option) last summer with their mid-level exception. However, the veteran tore his ACL playing for Team Italy in a FIBA World Cup qualifier in September.

Gallinari, who will be 35 years old before the start of next year, missed the entirety of the 2022-23 season and will now look ahead to an official debut in Boston, as he said it was an easy choice to sign with the Celtics last summer.

“When you think about the Celtics — I grew up, with my dad, ever since I was a little kid, I was a Celtics fan and a Larry Bird fan,” Gallinari said at his introductory press conference last July. “So, when the Celtics came on the table, it was almost a no-brainer,” Gallinari explained.

In his last full season, Gallinari appeared in 66 games for the Atlanta Hawks, playing 25.3 minutes per contest. He averaged 11.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists on 43.4% shooting from the field and 38.1% shooting from behind the three-point line.

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