10:59pm: Charlotte’s first call of free agency will be to Belinelli, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (on Twitter).
3:47pm: The Hornets are expected to aggressively pursue soon-to-be free agent Marco Belinelli, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, and a source tells Yahoo! colleague Marc J. Spears that the Warriors are interested in signing him, too (Twitter links). The Excel Sports Management client has said that money will likely play a key role in his decision this summer, and that may well make it tough for Golden State, which will almost certainly be limited to the $3.376MM taxpayer’s mid-level exception for outside free agents. Charlotte is poised to have the $5.434MM non-taxpayer’s mid-level, Wojnarowski notes.
The Bulls are another possible suitor for Belinelli should they miss on re-signing Mike Dunleavy, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune wrote Monday. Still, they’re likely without means beyond the taxpayer’s mid-level, either. The Spurs can pay up to about $6MM next season to bring him back if they retain his Early Bird rights, though it seems a strong possibility they will renounce those rights to clear cap room for LaMarcus Aldridge or another star free agent.
Charlotte has a need for shooting, and the 29-year-old Belinelli, a career 39.2% three-point shooter, has proven he can fill it. Golden State already has nearly $82.6MM on the books for next season, about $1MM more than the projected tax line, and that’s without a new deal for Draymond Green. Even if the Warriors succeed in finding a taker for David Lee, they’ll have trouble avoiding tax penalties.