San Antonio Spurs: Marco Belinelli isn’t done with the NBA just yet

SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 27: Marco Belinelli #18 of the San Antonio Spurs signs autographs before an NBA game against the Washington Wizards held January 27, 2019 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 27: Marco Belinelli #18 of the San Antonio Spurs signs autographs before an NBA game against the Washington Wizards held January 27, 2019 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)
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In an interview with an Italian news outlet, San Antonio Spurs sharpshooter Marco Belinelli made it clear that he’s not ready to retire from the NBA.

In the eyes of San Antonio Spurs fans who’ve seen him consistently over the last two seasons, Italian sharpshooter Marco Belinelli is nearing the end of his playing career. After spending years as a marksman in the NBA, hitting 3-pointers at every opportunity, his defense has become significantly worse than it once was despite him never truly being a defensive-minded player.

However, Belinelli hasn’t quite outlived his usefulness on the court yet and though this is the most heavily criticized he’s ever been, Marco is determined to remain in the NBA.

During an interview with La Repubblica, an Italian news outlet, Belinelli discussed what he learned from Michael Jordan in ‘The Last Dance’ as well as is future plans in the NBA. That conversation was translated and published by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando and holds keys to Beli’s future not only with the Spurs, but as an NBA player.

“I will be free agent in this damned summer of the virus, the least suitable to find a contract” Belinelli told La Repubblica. “I will check all the options, I count on having offers. Today NBA is and remains my first option, since the fire that pushed me to come here has not yet gone out” the Italian guard added. “Europe and Italy are not alternatives now due to calendar event. In the NBA we will be playing until August, there will be the draft in September and we will re-start later. This season is out of phase with the European season. In Europe teams are been built now, I believe I will be here to wait”.

You’ve got to give Belinelli credit, he’s right about the state of free agency after the fallout of the NBA’s issues in China and the coronavirus outbreak. It hasn’t been spoken about at length, but the NBA’s cap is guaranteed to drop in the fallout of these cataclysmic events and the absence of fans in attendance in the remainder of the 2019-20 season at the very minimum.

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Besides that, it’s clear that Belinelli is confident in his ability to get another NBA contract this offseason at 34 years old. Still, that confidence may not be adequately met considering his lack of athleticism and the fact that he posted the third-worst defensive box plus/minus of his career this season. Though advanced statistics favor him, they’re largely skewed considering how great the Spurs’ bench unit was through the regular season.

Whether he’s got insight or is simply speculating is up to you, but it seems like Marco has some dates in mind as well. It’s been announced that the league is planning to resume at the end of July, but the context has yet to be determined. However, it’s leaning toward the Spurs returning to play with an outside chance of making the playoffs with 22 of the league’s 30 teams heading to Orlando, FL with San Antonio included.

Say what you want about Belinelli, but his confidence and determination are impressive. Still, he’s shot 39.1 percent from the field this season and the young core is only getting better.

Next. Spurs should avoid Precious Achiuwa in '20 Draft Lottery

Maybe he’ll get another contract, but the Spurs would not be wise to bring him back—especially at anything more than the veteran’s minimum come free agency.

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