Smith: Belinelli Liberated By Trade From Warriors
Old 09-19-2009, 01:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Smith: Belinelli Liberated By Trade From Warriors



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Originally Posted by Doug Smith
Marco Belinelli feels reborn and unburdened of the shackles he spent two years trying to shake, free now to show what kind of NBA player he might become.

The 23-year-old Raptor guard spent two seasons mainly languishing on the Golden State Warriors bench, unable to convince head coach Don Nelson he'd fit consistently into whatever kind of unconventional style they were trying to play.

Now he is with compatriots and a franchise that wants him.

He's never felt better about his career.

"I talked with (Raptors president and general manager Bryan) Colangelo and he told me that this is a good spot for me because I can have a lot of opportunity to play," Belinelli said after a workout at the Air Canada Centre yesterday.

"Now is my time to see what I can do and I want to be ready for that."

Time to show what he could do was in short supply with the Warriors, who buried Belinelli on the bench as a rookie and then used him sporadically at both guard spots last season.

Colangelo has been enamoured of his ability for years and leapt at the chance to move Devean George to the Warriors for Belinelli this summer.

"During this time (leading up to the trade) I was with the (Italian) national team, so I was talking with my agent and with Andrea (Bargnani) so I was happy for that," he said.

"I come to a nice city like Toronto, a good team like that, a young team, European team, so it's a really great opportunity for me."

The Raptors figure to use the 6-foot-5 Belinelli in a role he should warm to given his shooting and playmaking abilities.

"I'm a guard who can shoot, but at the same time I can create for my teammates," he said. "I practise every day for myself to be the best. It is my job and I can help this team, I think."

The Raptors have penciled in rookie DeMar DeRozan as the starting two-guard, but Belinelli could handle a backup role at that position.

Colangelo has been effusive in his praise of Belinelli, suggesting he could be in the running for most improved player, mainly because he'll finally get a shot at consistent minutes, something that didn't occur at Golden State.

And his off-court transition should be seamless, given the presence of Bargnani, his Italian national team teammate, and senior Raptors vice-president Maurizio Gherardini.
Source - TheStar.com | Basketball | Raptors guard Marco Belinelli liberated by trade from Warriors
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Old 09-19-2009, 01:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice. He should get a consistent 20+ MPG behind Derozan who'll probably get 16-18MPG (according to Triano). Leaving around 10-12minutes for Wright and/or Jack.

And if Derozan takes off + Belinelli fits in nicely they may just eat up 40+ minutes.
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