For quite some time, it has been public knowledge that the Atlanta Hawks are dangling Marco Belinelli in trade discussions and the reported asking price is a second-round NBA Draft pick. Now, Michael Scotto of The Athletic has shed some specific light on a team that could have interest, indicating that the Philadelphia 76ers have “kept tabs” on Belinelli in recent days.
Within the same piece, Scotto notes that the Hawks have a “FOR SALE” sign hanging for most of the roster at this point, with specific notes concerning both Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova. Belinelli’s shooting (career 38 percent flip from three-point range) would likely be the focus for Philadelphia in trade and, in short, they have plenty of draft capital (and young players) to throw around in potential deals.
It is also interesting to note that the report discusses a rumored package that would have sent Belinelli and Ilyasova to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Omer Asik’s less than ideal contract and a first round pick. With that said, the Pelicans moved off Asik’s deal in the trade that landed Nikola Mirotic in New Orleans, taking that possibility off the table.
Belinelli, as an expiring contract (at approximately $6.6 million for this season) with a marketable skill (shooting), could be intriguing for a number of teams, especially if placed in a limited role that would hide his obvious defensive limitations. Only time will tell as to whether the Hawks are able to pull off a trade involving the veteran marksman but, if they are unable to do so, Atlanta also has every reason to seek a buyout from Belinelli given the focus on the future and the pending development of Tyler Dorsey.