UPDATE: The Hawks have officially announced a buyout with Belinelli.
There was plenty of speculation that Marco Belinelli would be traded from the Atlanta Hawks before the deadline on Feb. 8 and, by all accounts, the team tried to move him along the way. However, nothing transpired before 3:00 pm ET and, for about 24 additional hours, Belinelli remained with the organization.
Now, though, Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Belinelli and the Hawks are nearing a buyout agreement that would send him to the open market.
Marco Belinelli is finalizing a buyout agreement with the Atlanta Hawks, league sources tell ESPN. Several contenders are interested.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 9, 2018
It should be noted that this is not a surprising outcome. Though Belinelli brings offensive value with his spacing and shot creation ability, the veteran wing is on the short list of the league’s worst defenders and the Hawks have young pieces (headlined by Tyler Dorsey) that could use additional playing time.
Beyond that, Belinelli would not figure to be in Atlanta’s plans beyond this season given his expiring contract. That combination seemingly resulted in a mutual parting of ways (one that should include Atlanta saving an unspecified amount of cash) and, at some point, Belinelli will likely latch on with a playoff-bound team with the potential of providing offensive punch in a reserve role.
The Marco Belinelli era appears to be over for the Atlanta Hawks and, once this move goes through in full, the team will be left with two open roster spots.