Hornets, Clippers Talk Belinelli Sign-And-Trade

The Clippers have interest in Marco Belinelli, but having already committed their full mid-level exception to Jamal Crawford, don't have a ton of cap flexibility to sign him. As such, the Clips have discussed the possibility of a sign-and-trade deal with the Hornets, as we heard from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne earlier this week. However, according to John Reid of the Times Picayune, the Hornets aren't interested in L.A.'s offer of Ryan Gomes and a second-round pick.

As an unrestricted free agent, Belinelli could sign outright with the Clippers, but the team could only offer him a minimum-salary deal or the bi-annual exception, which is worth less than $2MM. Sending Gomes and his $4MM expiring contract to the Hornets in a sign-and-trade would allow Belinelli to sign with the Clippers for up to $6MM, though he certainly wouldn't receive that significant a starting salary — with the Clips approaching the tax line, they're probably looking to sign Belinelli to a lesser amount than Gomes' $4MM.

According to Reid, the Hornets aren't interested in the deal because they'd rather not take on the $4MM. owed to Gomes New Orleans has been aggressive in clearing salary this offseason, even when it's an expiring deal like Jarrett Jack's. With a number of players in the mix at power forward already, the Hornets have little use for Gomes, and a second-rounder provides little incentive for them to absorb his contract.

The Mavericks are also seeking a sharpshooter, as Jeff Caplan of ESPNDallas.com writes, and have been rumored to have interest in Belinelli.


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