The Atlanta Hawks seemed to have plenty of players available on the market as the 2018 trade deadline approached but Marco Belinelli was the only veteran that the organization elected to put on ice in the form of a missed game. That step, at least from an outsider’s perspective, appeared to indicate that the veteran swingman was in a different category as far players most likely to be dealt before 3:00 pm ET on Feb. 8 but, on cue, nothing seemed to materialize.
There were plenty of whispers about Belinelli with teams like Philadelphia and Miami but, in the end, he will remain in Atlanta (for now), according to Sam Amick of USA Today.
Marco Bellinelli stays put in Atlanta, I'm told.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) February 8, 2018
At first glance, this is a disappointing result for the Hawks, given that Belinelli is an expiring contract and is unlikely to return. In fact, he would become a prime buyout candidate, if only to clear the way for further playing time of younger options like Tyler Dorsey.
Still, the Hawks may not have realistically received an offer that did not involve taking back bad salary and, if so, it makes sense to simply hold on through the deadline with an eye toward a buyout. Stay tuned.