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Marco Belinelli may hit the buyout market

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The Warriors search for some bench shooting could see them pursue a familiar face.

2007 NBA Draft presented by Sprite
Is a return on the cards?
Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Warriors have been active players in the buyout market in recent years.

Last season, they needed some energy from the wing spot after Kevin Durant went down and we saw a reunion with Matt Barnes. It was a happy ending as he helped win a ring for the We Believe team.

This year, we may have a chance to repeat history. In 2007, with the 18th pick, the Warriors selected a sharp shooter out of Italy. Well, now it appears one Marco Belinelli may be about to hit the buyout market.

Various rumours have had the Warriors ready to kick the tires on some notably more senior shooters. But as I went into pre-trade deadline, Belinelli could really help.

You can’t help but feel former Warriors front office man, and current Atlanta Hawks GM, Travis Shlenk is doing us a bit of a favor here. And there’ll be one member of the Warriors organisation who’ll be happy to see an old friend.

Apart from the feel-good renunion story, he’s shooting a decent 37% clip from behind the arc, averaging 11.4 points, and a couple of rebounds and assists in 23 minutes per game. He recently dropped his season-high on the Thunder, a team the Warriors have struggled with this year.

Most importantly, he had two years with the San Antonio Spurs when they last lifted a title. So he knows what a championship run feels like, and he knows how to contribute. During the 2014 playoffs he played 15 minutes per game and shot 42% from three-point range.

That Spurs championship team was a precursor to the ball-movement, three-point-shooting demons that the Warriors became — Belinelli can fit into this style too.

While he was on the Spurs Belinelli also won the three-point contest at 2014 All-Star weekend. With Steph Curry taking the crown in 2015, and Klay Thompson in 2016, how many teams can boast three consecutive winners on one roster? If the Warriors do sign him, it’ll be yet another sign that this is the greatest long range shooting team in NBA history.

The main concern pre-trade deadline was the price they’d have to pay. But now the opportunity for a bargain deal presents itself.

The Warriors are carrying 15 players, so will need to free up a spot. Javale McGee is probably the most likely buyout candidate if a move does get made, though there could be others in the frame.

Either way, this buyout season just got a whole lot more interesting.