Marco Belinelli Will Return to New Orleans

Published: December 13, 2011

Marco Belinelli will return to the Hornets after accepting their qualifying offer for roughly 3.4 million dollars. He is the first player to start a game last year who has opted to return. His  addition to training camp should provide the team with a bit of veteran leadership (we’re really digging deep here). Thus far,  players with NBA regular season experience have been outnumbered by those without.

“We are excited to have Marco back on the roster,” General Manager Dell Demps said. “He had the best year of his career with us last season and we expect him to continue to grow in our system and be a valuable asset of our team this season.”

Belinelli averaged career-highs of 10.4 points, 1.9 rebounds and 24.5 minutes in 80 games (69 starts). He shot 43.7% from the field and a career-best 41.1% from beyond the arc. Belinelli registered four 20-point performances for the Hornets last season.

Belly was working out in New Orleans with a private trainer prior to his decision to accept the qualifying offer, and is expected to attend media day tomorrow at the Arena. If you have any questions for the Italian Stallion, this is as good a spot as any for them.


  1. PP3istheMVP

    December 13, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Best news of the entire offseason so far. Even though he isnt a very good defender it is nice just to see a familiar face.

    Some questions that come to mind..

    -What was he doing during the lockout?
    -How has all the trade talk affected him personally since he wasnt “officially” on the team till just now
    -What areas of his game has he been working on? (probably just could combine this question with the 1st one)
    -Did he eat a lot of cookies during the lockout?
    How he feels now as a “veteran presence” amongst all the younger guys at camp?

    Just some suggestions, nothing major.

  2. L_REAZY

    December 13, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I know this is way off the Belinelli topic, but this is a “MUST-READ” article by, Bill Simmons in regards to the ‘theories’ of why David Stern has not traded CP3 yet.

    Here is the link;

    Here is an excerpt from the article;

    “THEORY NO. 7: Stern eked out only 16 “yes” votes for the latest labor agreement by promising the naysayers that he’d address the whole big-market/small-market disparity as well as the whole stars-jumping-teams issue. Now they’re making Paul an unfortunate litmus test — by NOT caving unless it’s for a Godfather offer, the league is practicing what it preached.

    Possibility of being true: 80 percent. Imagine Stern’s horror when, within 72 hours of the NBA’s “We’re back!” announcement, “Who’s getting Dwight Howard?” and “Who’s getting Chris Paul?” became the league’s two biggest news stories. Sure seems like he’s trying to prove a larger point here. And that point is, “I don’t care how bad this point is, or how bad this makes me look, I am proving a point!”

    THEORY NO. 8: The league believed it would find a Hornets buyer before the season; that never happened; and now it’s ill equipped to handle the inevitable conflict of interest issues that accompany any Chris Paul trade … so it would rather bury him in New Orleans for the season until the team gets sold than allow him to file for free agency next summer. And if it screwed over CAA’s Leon Rose and William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley (who were prominently involved with The Decision and Carmelo’s saga last season), even better.

    Possibility of being true: 80 percent. In 2008, Michael Heisley blew a potential Grizzlies sale by trading his best player, Pau Gasol. He thought the deal would make Memphis more attractive to buyers, when actually it made the franchise less attractive. That’s why the league was searching for the “perfect” deal here; the league would rather avoid the headache (and backlash) of steering Paul toward a big market. So why spend three weeks going through the “Demps has authority to make a trade” charade? Why waste everyone’s time? Why come off so poorly and disingenuously? How did a seemingly well-run league that had 12 solid months to prepare for this particular moment botch that moment so completely and totally?”


  3. Nick Malone

    December 13, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    I hear the entire team will be there to greet him at practice tomorrow. All 6 of them now on the roster. Bitter much and I feel gutted. I don’t care who Paul gets traded for now as long as we can get SOMETHING in return….Even if it’s a bag of basketballs. “Pass the Pasta” (Marco Belinelli) please? I feel like eating away my depression.

  4. Jo D

    December 13, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Sufficient back up 2 guard… Arron Afflalo anyone?

    • Jo D

      December 13, 2011 at 5:18 pm

      Looking more and more like we are riding it out until the trade deadline with CP3. I think AA with CP is a potent backcourt.

      • Jason Calmes

        December 15, 2011 at 1:00 am

        All in good fun. Glad you took it as such.


  5. Daniel from L.A

    December 13, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Im glad that he came back, He reminds me of a player who will put his heart out there and try to do his best at all times. I have just one Question for him though. Did he work at all during the off season on his ball handling skills? That was one part of his game that kept him from driving the lane with confidence last year. other than that gauex Hornets!!!!!

  6. cp3xxnewO

    December 13, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Denver would match any offer for afflalo especially with half their team in china

  7. James Online

    December 13, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Great news for the Hornets. And the leadership point you made, Joe, is not a stretch. Marco is focused, team oriented, very coachable, and has become more and more vocal as his English has improved and his experience in American culture has deepened.

    This likely means that Eric Gordon will not be included if the trade for Paul goes through. Bees may know that for sure now, and with that news the Belli (or Beli, but c’mon not “Belly”) signing became imminent.

    Thrilled to have the crafty Italian in the fold with his enthusiasm, creativity, and one of the best strokes from distance in the game.

  8. Tyler

    December 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Our focus should be on filling out the roster with quality players. Re-sign Carl Landry, Jason Smith, D.J. Mbenga and Willie Green. Sign Sign a quality PF and leave the other open roster spots to whoever wins out in camp.

  9. J

    December 13, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    The Lakers are back in the CP3 talks

  10. J

    December 13, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Nene re sign with the Nuggets and Jamal Crawford sign an 2 year deal with the Pacers.

  11. Rocco

    December 14, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Good to see Marco back in the Hornets’ hive.

    I beleive year two will see him as a more assured offensive player. He’ll put the ball on the floor more and look for contact towards the rim. His defense will also improve. (These are things he worked on during his summer stint with the Italian national team.) Year one he did a lot of deferring to West and Ariza. This year,(mostly because of necessity) he will not be bashful about taking his shots, but I think he’ll do so in the flow of the NOLA offense.

    Bravo Marco, bravo.

  12. Rocco

    December 14, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Good to have Marco on board again.

    He will pleasantly surprise. Its his second season in the Hornets’ system. He’ll be more assured and less tentative. During the summer and early fall his performance with the Italian national team showed improvements in defense, ball handling and ball distribution. I believe he’ll be a more versatile scorer this coming season. Because of necessity the Hornets will probably look his way more often for scoring. And, I think we will be a more comfortable ball handler helping both Paul(if he’s here) and Jack in half court sets in getting the ball to others in scoring position. When Paul was down for a few games late last season the Hornets took Chicago to the brink on their home floor and had a memorable comeback win over the defending champion Mavericks, Marco’s offense, timely defense and ball distribution skills were big factors. I think we will see more of that from him as he has better opportunities to do so, and more trust to do so from the NOLA coaching staff.

    Buona fortuna to you Marco and the Hornets for the coming season.

  13. sp3

    December 14, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Good news,

    Marco really showed his upside at the start of last season and with minimal options at the two-guard spot this season he might be given a chance to show us a little more.

    I was convinced during our 8-0 start last season that Marco was the poor man’s Manu Ginobili. Killer outside game, he could put the ball on the floor and cutting off screens like a true scorer.

    Marco’s performance in the playoffs was well below par, his shot was off and he looked like a boy among men. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him come out swinging this season.

    He also brings in some familiarity, which we’ll need during this rough patch.

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