Does Restricted Free Agent Marco Belinelli return to the New Orleans Hornets?

Does Marco Belinelli Return To The New Orleans Hornets?


Dell Demps worked a genius trade getting rid of the ever useless Julian Wright for the sharpshooter Marco Bellinelli. Not one Hornets fan complained because there was already a shooting guard talented enough to be the starter, he just needed a backup. A year on and we find that things changed considerably over the course of the season. Marcus Thornton didn’t claim the starting position, also received inconsistent minutes, while Belinelli thrived early on but then diminished as the season went on.

We found out in the playoffs that Marco was a very poor starting shooting guard. He shot 31% from three in the series against the Lakers making just 8 three pointers in 6 games (conversely Peja Stojakovic hit 28 three’s in 12 playoff games for the Hornets). When New Orleans needed a shooter Marco was no where to be found. He was outmatched defensively giving Ron Artest easy offensive rebounds and easy layups off the post up.

We can’t judge him solely on his playoffs though, even if he posted a meager 6.6 PER. During the season his three point percentage was very up and down, but his minutes remained consistent (bar a down February). He never seemed to find his rhythm offensively for more than 3 games in a row and just couldn’t be the scorer which was demanded of the position.

If we face the facts, the Hornets need a scorer at shooting guard with Trevor Ariza sitting at small forward. Ariza cannot be the teams third offensive weapon, in a way he shouldn’t even be considered the fourth option. But on this team, this past season he was, and it didn’t usually end with a great result.

While we must appreciate Marco’s ability to shoot the basketball, his defensive capabilities (not effort, he’s got that), scoring abilities and knack for the game aren’t at the level required of an NBA starter.

If the Hornets offered Belinelli a 2 year/2.5 million deal I wouldn’t scoff at it. The problem lies in what the team does moving forward. Most likely, New Orleans will resign Willie Green to play the fourth guard and will have no real need for Belinelli if they find a starting 2-guard.

I don’t expect Belinelli to be retained even if he was a player we all wanted to succeed.

Tags: Dell Demps Marco Belinelli Peja Stojakovic Ron Artest Trevor Ariza

  • lucas

    I believe that both Green and Belinelli will remain on the team. Monty loves Willie and will keep him with us. And I read about the accolades that Dell Demps did to Marco. So I think they’ll be in for the Hornets next season. The fact is that we urgently need a shooting guard consistent. But Marco and Willie doesn’t seem to be the player we need. I hope that Dell Demps do the right thing.

    • James Grayson

      The way I see it playing it out is if Dell can’t find a starting shooting guard then he’ll resign both for cheap contracts that are relatively short in length.

      I guess Marco could return, but he’d only be only be a stop gap.

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  • stats mcgee

    I like Marco as a back-up 2 guard.

    I’d let Willie Green go and focus on acquiring
    a solid starter and playing Marco with the
    second unit. His spot up shooting and scoring
    is better suited for a back-up role.

    • James Grayson

      Yea I agree. It’s strange how the Hornets actually had that in their plans to start last season. If Thornton started with Belinelli off the bench it would be exactly what we need… But now Thornton is stuck in Sacramento and the Hornets are left blank needing a scoring two-guard.

      I think the Hornets retain Green though, he is a veteran guy, and seems like a Monty guy. I’d much rather Belinelli, but coaches have personable connections with certain players.