Adrian Wojnarowski writes Sources: Raptors nab Belinelli for Yahoo! Sports:
After failing to meet the initial expectations that surrounded his arrival as a first-round pick two years ago, the Golden State Warriors have traded guard Marco Belinelli(notes) to the Toronto Raptors, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday night.
The Raptors will send Devean George(notes) to the Warriors.
I must say Belinelli's 2 year run with the Warriors was somewhat of a joke. It was a joke when Chris Mullin reached and drafted him with the #18 pick. It was a joke when Belinelli burst onto the summer league dropping 37 meaningless points. It was a joke when some Warriors homers at one point were saying how happy they were that Jason Richardson was gone to make room for Belinelli. It was joke when Nellie annointed him a superstar in the making during 2007 training camp. It was a joke how absolutely lost Belinelli looked his rookie season. It was a joke how Belinelli was rumored to refuse Nellie's request that he pack his bags like Patrick O'Bryant and head down to the NBDL during his rookie season. It was a joke how it took countless injuries for Belinelli to even "earn" playing time this past season. It was a joke how much hype and adoration Belinelli somehow managed to attract from a few Warriors homers over the past 2 seasons who inflated his value to ridiculous heights. It was a joke that teams like the Suns and Raptors reportedly had interest in him the past 2 seasons.
My oh my. It was a joke that really wasn't that funny. To tell you the truth it's a joke that some Warriors fans feel outraged over this trade. It's meaningless and it's not going to effect the 2009-2010 Golden State Warriors season one bit. Folks hate it when I say this, but I doubt Belinelli is even in the league in 2 years. Actually scratch that. I wouldn't be surprised if the Toronto Craptors "braintrust" inked him to a 5 year $50 million extension a la Andrea Bargnani.
We probably have some Raps fans reading and looking for some 4-1-1 on Belinelli's tenure with the Warriors. Here's my 20 cents that I detailed earlier:
Marco Belinelli: I think you can make an interesting case both ways whether or not to extend Belinelli. He is is definitely improving and showing some signs of life, but to me he's very, very replaceable. The Warriors could easily pluck someone from the NBDL that could given them better production than Belinelli. Am I just tossing that out for shock value (like I admittedly do sometimes)? Not this time. Exhibit A: Kelenna Azubuike. Exhibit B: C.J. Watson.
Belinelli was absolutely atrocious his rookie season, which completely erased his fool's gold summer league performance. However to his credit he rebounded extremely well his second season and dramatically improved. He had a nice little 15 game stretch in December where he put up 14.1 ppg, 3.2 assists : 2.1 turnovers, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.0 steals. (The fact that I'm saying those sub-mediocre numbers are a huge improvement over his rookie season and trying to give him some credit here should tell you something.)
The thing that frustrates me most about Belinelli's performance the past two seasons with the Warriors is his extremely low hoops IQ. When the Warriors drafted him there was all this hoopla about how he was a seasoned basketball player with several pro years in the Euroleague's under his belt. I have yet to see anything tangible coming out of that. This is a guy who routinely loses his man on defense on simple backdoor cuts, inanely goes for the offensive rebound when he's the last man back, and is routinely out of position on defense. He's pretty much guranteed to jack up 1-3 "what is he thinking?" shots every night. I have no idea how Belinelli got a reputation as a "great" passer or someone with court vision given his very pedestrian assist : turnover ratio either. In year 1 it was 0.5 assists : 0.4 turnovers (per 36- 2.3 : 1.8) and in year 2 it was 2.1 assists : 1.4 turnovers (per 36- 3.6 : 2.4).
For some reason he's somewhat of a fan favorite, which is annoying to see when guys like Azubuike, Watson, and Anthony Morrow have worked their you-know-what off, beat him out fair and square, and don't get half as much love from the home crowd. There is a silver lining to this unfounded Marco mania however. Sample the fans of other teams and there seems to be a lukewarm fascination with him. It also seems like the Raptors and Suns also have some interest in him. Could he be useful as key piece in a trade for Chris Bosh or Amare Stoudemire? Yes, that sounds stupid, but not as stupid as unnecessarily inking Andrea Bargnani for $50 million or needlessly breaking up a talent-loaded team of Shaquille O'Neal, Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, Jason Richardson, Leandro Barbosa, Grant Hill, and Matt Barnes without letting them play a full season together.
I must say good job by the Warriors on this trade- even though it's meaningless. Between the glut of guards and swingmen on this team (Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, Corey Maggette, Kelenna Azubuike, Stephen Curry, Anthony Morrow, Speedy Claxton, and Acie Law) there have to be a few cuts based on scarcity of minutes in the backcourt alone. It's tough to argue against cutting Belinelli vs. the others on that list (Law and Claxton will probably be cut soon as well), which essentially what this is, given the guard-heaviness of this roster is really that big of a deal. Someone had to go or else there would probably be a lot of public whining and unnecessary locker room drama from a bunch of non-stars and bottom-tier NBA talents. Expect a few more cuts off that list before training camp.
I think it's a good time to revisit former Warriors GM Chris Mullin's draft record over his publicity stunt with the Dubs now that another one of his draft picks is no longer with the Warriors. If you remember we first looked at this in Grading the Mullin Picks, but here we go again.
(#11) Andris Biedrins- Definitely a nice pick, but honestly that was a pretty solid draft in the 'teens. Did he just get lucky?
(#40) Monta Ellis- One of the greatest 2nd round picks of all time. Too bad Moped Gate happened, but that's not Mullin's fault- only the poor way he handled it afterwards.
(#42) Chris Taft- BUST who is out of the league
(#9) Patrick O'Bryant- BUST who gets to reunite with Belinelli from the glory days of the end of the bench on the 2k7-2k8 Warriors
(#38) Kosta Perovic- BUST who got a joke contract from Mullin to sit on the end of the Warriors bench in 2k7-2k8 with POB and Belinelli
(#8) Brandan Wright- Unless Wright makes a major move in 2008-2009 he's headed on the bus towards BUSTVILLE. I'm not ready to right him off just yet, but I'm not expecting much.
(#18) Marco Belinelli- BUST who will probably be looked at Jiri Welsh 2.0 in a few years
(#46) Stephane Lasme- BUST who's out of the league
See a trend?
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Well I'm sure thankful the clueless Chris Mullin era is over in the Warriors front office. Now if only we ship that R-Double character to bustville as well. C-Double, in case you haven't heard, we'd all love to see you sell the Warriors... like 15 years ago (See RUMOR: Chris Cohan IS INDEED interested in selling Warriors and was in negotiations with Larry Ellison). In Nellie and Riley we trust.
On a side note, my esteemed hoops colleague Fantasy Junkie and I were talking about the upcoming Warriors season and who we're interested in watching. The bottom line was the 2009-2010 Golden State Warriors are going to suck- really suck- and be fairly "Unwatchable Baby!", but collectively we were at least interested in watching Anthony Randolph, Anthony Morrow, Stephen Curry, and Monta Ellis next season. The rest of the team really isn't that fun to watch because well, they're not very good or entertaining. Note that Marco Belinelli wasn't on that list.
And what about new Warrior Devean George you might ask? Well, what about him? Odds are he'll never play a single game for the Dubs. This was (another ) move to save Cohan some dollars. As poor of a view as I hold of Belinelli's 2 seasons with the Warriors and his future in the NBA, this move does not help the Warriors one bit in terms of basketball. I also don't think it hurts them one bit though.
It's another meaningless move by the Warriors this offseason- just like the 2009-2010 Golden State Warriors season will be unless they bring in a superstar a la Amare Stoudemire. (See RUMOR: Ric Bucher thinks Amare Stoudemire to Warriors still happens) Otherwise they're just wasting everyone's time.
Nellie and Riley- it's time to pull the trigger with the Suns fellas. Swing that trade with the Suns. Whatever it takes. Even if it's a mythical one year rental- more on that later...
Around the web:
- Belinelli Traded to Toronto [Inside the Warriors]
- Warriors give away Belinelli, officially for Devean George, unofficially for no apparent reason [Talking Points]
Golden State Sends Marco Belinelli to Toronto for Devean George, Cash [FanHouse]
The cash considerations are that the Raptors will pick up most of George's contract, worth $1.6 million in 2009-10. To that extent, George will be helpful to the Warriors even if he never plays a game for them. It certainly goes further in explaining why the Warriors would give up on Belinelli, just 23.
- Suddenly Delfino Doesn't Look Like Such a Sure Thing... [Raptors HQ]
- All Belinelli All The Time [RaptorsHQ]
- 470 and rising thoughts from GSoMers on the trade
Your other headquarters for the 4-1-1 on this trade.