The Hawks are set to begin training camp on Sept. 26. I'm previewing one player each day leading up to camp (in alphabetical order).
Height/Weight: 6-5, 210
Age: 31 (3/25/86)
2017-18 salary: $6.6 million
CARMELO projected value: minus $2.9 million
How acquired: 2017 trade (Hornets)
Belinelli has attempted 5,191 shots during his NBA career and 71 percent of them were from beyond 16 feet, including 44 percent from beyond the 3-point line. He’s never been a consistently great shooter but, after a career-worst offensive season with the Kings in 2015-16, Belinelli was a solid shooter for the Hornets last season particularly on corner threes (46.3 percent).
Belinelli draws fouls at a decent rate is an excellent free-throw shooter (83.2 percent career) but he’s essentially been a pure catch-and-shoot guy during his 10 NBA seasons. Last season, however, Belinelli attacked more often on pick-and-rolls and produced good results.
Marco Belinelli play type: Pick-and-roll ballhandler (via stats.NBA.com)
|Season||Possesions||Play type %||Pts per poss||League percentile|
Belinelli also was a more productive passer in 2016-17 while keeping his turnover rate low. Big changes are improbable at this point in his career, but perhaps his more versatile offensive game is a sign that he can be more than just a spot-up shooter.
Belinelli is a bad defender, both as an individual and within the team context.
According to Basketball Reference data, Belinelli is one of 130 guards to play at least 6,400 minutes since 2009-10 (his first as an NBA regular). Among those players Bellinelli ranks 119th in block percentage (0.2), 107th in steals percentage (1.3) and 82nd in defensive rebounding percentage (9.1).
NBA.com's tracking data shows that Belinelli's defensive field-goal percentage against (70.4) is tied for fifth-worst among guards who played at least 41 games last season. Bellinelli’s Defensive Real Plus Minus of -1.87 during the 2016-17 season is his best since the ESPN started listing that metric for the 2013-14 season and that ranked tied for 75th among 94 shooting guards listed.
FiveThirtyEight.com’s CARMELO forecast projects that, after his resurgent season with the Hornets, Belinelli’s decline will continue. If that projection is right then Belinelli won't help the Hawks. But he could be a good piece for a rebuilding team if he can turn in another solid season.
Belinelli can provide some value for the Hawks now with his offense, especially if he coach Mike Budenholzer can coax better defensive effort from him while deploying him in lineups with stronger defenders. If that happens, Belinelli could bring some trade value later as a veteran shooter with an expiring contract—the kind of player contending teams seek for playoff runs.
Belinelli can become a free agent next summer so he certainly will have incentive to show that he can still help. The tricky part for Budenholzer may be creating a trade market for Belinelli while not holding back the development of the young wings on the roster.
Previous Hawks player previews