Marco Belinelli recently expressed hope that he and the San Antonio Spurs can come to a deal that keeps the Italian sniper in the Alamo City
Even as he was a frequent target of San Antonio Spurs fan’s frustration, Marco Belinelli remained a steady shooting presence off the bench this season. The frustration with Belinelli often stemmed from his defensive mistakes and that he was often receiving minutes ahead of the promising Lonnie Walker in the early parts of the season.
Despite all of that, Belinelli has made it clear that he hopes that he and the Spurs can come to an agreement that keeps him in the Alamo City. Jeff Garcia with News 4 San Antonio noted earlier this year that Belinelli had spoken with the Italian La Gazzetta and expressed a desire to chase a title like the one he and the Spurs captured in 2014. Now Garcia has an update, Belinelli still wants to stay in the NBA but isn’t taking anything off the table at this point
Per Garcia, Belinelli told Avvenire, another Italian news outlet, that “the priority is to stay on an NBA team to try and win another title but I don’t rule out other options.” A smart approach from a veteran player who will likely end up on a team as a valuable veteran shooting presence.
The prospect of Belinelli returning to the San Antonio Spurs is very up in the air at this point. Yes, his defense leaves a lot to be desired but he’s trusted by head coach Gregg Popovich, is, from all accounts, a solid guy in the locker room, and has several years of familiarity with the Spurs system. If San Antonio is looking for just an end of the bench shooter they could do a lot worse than bringing Marco back on a veteran minimum.
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San Antonio is light on shooters as it is. Derrick White and Dejounte Murray did take steps forward as perimeter threats and Lonnie Walker showed promise but none of them seem to be able to step into a volume shooter role right now.
If Bryn Forbes gets a better offer this summer and decides to walk the Spurs could approach next season with LaMarcus Aldridge as their most dangerous shooter unless they bring back Belinelli. As is the case with a potential re-signing with Forbes, context matters in all of this.
Belinelli and Forbes both struggle mightily on defense but that wouldn’t be as big of an issue if the Spurs coaches hadn’t put them in so many situations where that could be exploited. Playing one of the two with stronger defenders like White, Murray, even Keldon Johnson, and a rim protector like Jakob Poeltl, would neutralize many of the mistakes they make on the defensive end.
In a summer that is sure to be highlighted by the Spurs’ highest draft pick in ages and DeMar DeRozan‘s impending free agency, Marco’s future with San Antonio remains an interesting subplot to watch.