With less than 48 hours until the trade deadline, the Atlanta Hawks are taking a proactive approach with regard to Marco Belinelli. Moments before the team’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Hawks confirmed that Belinelli, who has been included in a great deal of trade speculation, would be held out of the proceedings for precautionary reasons.
It comes as no surprise that the Hawks would elect to hold the veteran out, if only to avoid any injury concern. This is a practice widely utilized across the league so far this season and it appears to be an unintended consequence of the choice to move the trade deadline earlier in the calendar.
For now, specifics regarding Belinelli and a trade partner for the Hawks remain unknown and this does not necessarily ensure that the veteran marksman will be dealt before Thursday afternoon. Still, it can be interpreted as a strong signal of his availability and, at the very least, fireworks could be on the horizon.
UPDATE: Marc Stein of the New York Times reports that Belinelli has been told of trade plans.
The Hawks have informed veteran sharpshooter Marco Belinelli that he is on course to be traded by Thursday's 3 p.m. deadline, league sources say. Atlanta said to still be weighing its options in terms of exactly where it will send him with multiple teams interested— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 7, 2018