The Charlotte Hornets Should Sell High On Marco Belinelli
NBA Trade Rumors: Playing his best basketball of his career, it’s time for the Charlotte Hornets to sell high on Marco Belinelli
When Marco Belinelli was traded to the Hornets for a first round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft (which turned out to be Malachi Richardson), I laughed. A lot.
Belinelli? The same Belinelli who shot 38.6 percent from the field in Sacramento, (and even on the Spurs, who can turn just about anyone into a productive and efficient player, felt like an odd fit) for a first-rounder?
I can understand a second-rounder, or even two second rounders, but a first? I had to double-check Twitter and other sports media outlets to make sure it wasn’t a joke.
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After finding out that it wasn’t a joke, and was in fact real trade, I tried really hard to understand the Hornet’s reasoning behind the move. (I’ve stopped trying to figure out what Sacramento’s game plan is).
The thing is…. I just couldn’t. No matter what way I cut it, I couldn’t make sense of any of the pieces. So I just tucked in the back of the mind. Now, 50-some games into the season it makes perfect sense why the Hornets did it – and if I’m a GM for another team – I wish I had made the move; no matter how Richardson’s career turns out.
Belinelli is averaging career highs in, well, everything!
The 30-year-old from Italy is currently averaging 10.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists on a 53.2 eFG% (including 39.0% from 3) while also shooting 88.3 percent from the charity stripe.
His career averages are 9.6 PPG, 2.0 TRPG, 1.7 APG with a 50.8 eFG% and 38.0 3P%…. and 82.6% from the charity stripe.
While a 1.2 and 5.7 percent increase in PPG and FT% may not be that impressive for a guy that’s been a role player for most of his career, it is considering he only plays 24.7 minutes per game and is averaging exactly 4.0 three-point attempts a game; and still is coming off the bench in Charlotte.
Is Belinelli a game-changing talent that every team should be clamoring for as the NBA Trade Deadline approaches? The short answer to that question is no. The longer answer is that for those title-hungry/actual championship caliber teams that are looking for an extra scoring option in late game situations don’t need to look much farther than Belinelli.
*cough CELTICS RAPTORS WARRIORS SPURS cough*
Sorry, something in my throat.
Bottom line: Belinelli has added an added sting to this year’s Hornet’s squad, but they should capitalize on his career year and collect assets while they can, as they may be headed to a rebuild.