Nuggets make perfect sense in potential trade with Hawks for Marco Belinelli

Nuggets make perfect sense in potential trade with Hawks for Marco Belinelli


Nuggets make perfect sense in potential trade with Hawks for Marco Belinelli

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The Hawks have been one of the worst teams in the NBA this season. Might they trade veteran guard Marco Belinelli for future value?

As noted by ESPN’s Bobby Marks, he has a relatively low salary as well as an expiring contract. He could be “valuable addition” to a rotation on a team vying for a spot in the postseason.

One possible team who could be interested in his services are the Nuggets. If the season ended today, the Nuggets would be the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference. However, the Jazz (currently out of the playoffs) are just two games back of their record.

Belinelli would bring a sense of familiarity to their team. Tim Connelly, now the president of basketball operations for Denver, was the assistant general manager for the Hornets when Belinelli was on their roster from 2010 until 2012.

Mike Malone, who is the head coach for the Nuggets, was one of the assistant coaches for Belinelli on the Hornets. Bob Weiss, now an assistant on the coaching staff in Denver, was also an assistant coach for the Hornets when Belinelli returned to their franchise last season.

The 31-year-old is the most accurate free throw shooter (95.1 percent) in the NBA among those with at least 40 attempts. The Nuggets are shooting 73.6 percent from the charity stripe, which ranks Bottom 10 in the NBA.

Belinelli is shooting 16-of-37 (43.2 percent) on pull-up three-pointers so far this season, the most accurate among Eastern Conference guards with at least 30 attempts. Denver is shooting 30.6 percent on this shot type, which is the fourth-worst mark in the West.

The 10-year veteran is currently averaging 1.26 points per possession on spot-up plays, which ranks No. 7 in the league among those with at least 65 possessions. The Nuggets have run spot-up plays on 23.7 possessions per game, which is the 10th-most in the league.

According to ESPN’s Trade Machine, one deal that could work in a one-for-one exchange would be Darrell Arthur for Belinelli. But there could be more players involved if the deal is more complex.

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