Danilo Gallinari’s untimely injury robbed the Boston Celtics of added bench depth, but the NBA handed them some cash Monday for their troubles.

According to NBA Insider Shams Charania, the Celtics will receive a $3.23 million Disabled Player Exception (DPE) for the injured NBA veteran.

Gallinari inked a new contract with the C’s prior to his ACL tear, so he’ll still bring in $6.64 million this year. If the front office wants to make the most out of this DPE, they’ll  have until March 10th to make a move.

Per the DPE rules, the Celtics can use the $3.23 million on a player with an expiring contract, a player on waivers, or in a trade. No matter which way Boston applies it, the team’s structure will have to be adjusted since the exception requires an open roster spot.

The Celtics have had exceptions in the past via players like Gordon Hayward, yet they haven’t always used them. The Gallinari DPE will provide them with a solid opportunity to bolster their current lineup and possibly add a big man in the absence of Robert Williams III.

There are plenty of options for the C’s to peruse, so here are some of the best targets Boston can land with Gallinari’s DPE.

The 3 best targets for Celtics with $3.23 million DPE after Danilo Gallinari injury

3) Dwight Howard

A name that’s already been thrown around in regard to the Boston Celtics is 8-time All-Star Dwight Howard. The NBA journeyman was once an elite defender and rebounder, and in 2021 he showed he can still do those things to a lesser degree.

While last season was a disaster for the Los Angeles Lakers, Howard averaged 6.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game off the bench. The 2020 NBA champion is not the talent he used to be, but he can still produce in a limited role.

Of course, there are concerns about his age and how he’d impact team chemistry, however, he’s only a few months older than Celtics center Al Horford and has expressed his respect for Boston’s stars. During a recent interview with Shannon Sharpe, he praised the Celtics’ star power and said he could work off of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown this season. What’s more, he claimed that he’d only expect around the league minimum, making him a potential financial fit within the Gallinari DPE.

Howard could work with the Celtics’ present lineup and the organization’s current financial status. And at the very least, he could offer some solid center minutes while Timelord sits out for the next few months.

2) Willie Cauley-Stein

Despite his height, the 7-foot Willie Cauley-Stein has flown under the radar recently. He’s currently with the Houston Rockets’ G-League team, yet the C’s could still strike a minor deal for him to return to the NBA.

The former 6th-overall pick hasn’t lived up to his potential, yet in his seven seasons in the league he’s shown he can rebound and protect the rim well. When he got 27.3 minutes per game with the Sacramento Kings in 2018, he averaged 11.9 points and 8.4 rebounds and only missed a single matchup all season. His health and relative youth at 29 years old cannot be undervalued, especially for the injury-prone Celtics.

It’ll take some extra effort to snag Cauley-Stein away from the Rockets, but his limited playing time in past years should make him eager for another shot with the C’s. As a bench center he could fill in for Williams, but the Celtics would have to cut or demote someone on their roster to bring the Kentucky standout to Beantown.

1) Derrick Favors

After being waived by the Rockets less than a month ago, NBA veteran Derrick Favors is on the free agent market again.

Favors had some excellent years with the Utah Jazz, and while he lacks recent eye-popping stats, the 6-foot-9 forward could still make an impact. There’s already a vocal group of Twitter users calling for him to sign with the Celtics:

Favors’ rebounding off the bench makes the 31-year-old a good signing for any team, but the C’s are especially in need of some extra size. The 265-pound forward won’t be moved from his spot on the court easily, so he could be a viable defensive option for Boston.

Regardless, it’s uncertain that the Celtics will even use the Gallinari DPE. They’re in need of height and depth though and now seems like the perfect time to strengthen the roster for cheap.