NBA rumors: Celtics linked to veteran free agents T.J. Warren, Danilo Gallinari

BOSTON  — The Celtics’ offseason focus is beginning to take shape, with a pair of veteran free agents reportedly linked to the Eastern Conference champs.

According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, Brad Stevens is looking to use Boston’s mid-level exception “on high-scoring, small-ball forwards.” Fischer adds that the Celtics have been “linked” to veterans T.J. Warren and Danilo Gallinari — among others — with free agency set to open on Thursday.

Both would provide some added scoring punch off the Boston bench, as the Celtics look to add more offensive firepower around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown this offseason.

Foot injuries limited Warren to just four games last season, when he made $12.6 million with the Pacers. He averaged a career-best 19.8 points per game during the 2019-20 season, when he shot 54 percent from the floor and 40 percent from three-point range.

For his career, the 28-year-old Warren has averaged 15.5 points off 50 percent shooting from the floor and 36 percent from downtown for the Phoenix Suns and Pacers. He’ll likely have to take a pay cut in free agency, but it’s unclear if Boston’s $6.3 million exception will be enough to get him to the Celtics bench.

Gallinari isn’t a free agent, but he is expected to be waived or traded by the Hawks at some point Wednesday before his $21.4 million salary for the 2022-23 season becomes guaranteed. If released, Gallinari would become an unrestricted free agent should he clear waivers.

The 33-year-old is limited on defense, but has been knocking down threes his entire career. He shot 38 percent from downtown last season for the Hawks, averaging 4.5 attempts per game. He’s a 38 percent three-point shooter over his 15 NBA seasons. Gallinari would also provide a nice scoring boost off the Boston bench, and should get plenty of open looks when he shares the floor with Tatum and Brown.

NBA free agency tips off at 6pm Thursday night.

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