Whenever the NBA’s 2020 offseason eventually arrives, Marco Belinelli‘s contract will expire and he’ll reach the open market as an unrestricted free agent. Addressing his upcoming free agency in an interview with L’Avvenire (hat tip to Eurohoops.net), the Italian guard didn’t close the door on a potential return to Europe, but stressed that his goal is to remain in the NBA.
“The priority is to stay on an NBA team to try and win another title,” Belinelli said. “But I don’t rule out other options.”
Belinelli, who turned 34 in March, began his professional career in Italy, playing for Virtus Bologna and Fortitudo Bologna from 2002-07. However, he has been in the NBA since being drafted by Golden State in 2007, spending the last two seasons in San Antonio with the Spurs.
A productive role player for over a decade, the former first-round pick has seen his role shrink in 2019/20. Belinelli has averaged just 5.8 PPG in 15.0 MPG off the Spurs’ bench — he hasn’t posted numbers that low since he was a 21-year-old rookie in 2007/08. The veteran’s shooting percentages, including a .391 FG%, are also below his career rates, though he’s still making 36.8% of his three-point attempts.
Given his age and his declining NBA role, it wouldn’t be a huge shock if Belinelli opted to finish his career in Europe, where he’d be more of a primary option and could perhaps earn more than the NBA’s minimum salary. However, based on his comments about pursuing another title, it sounds like his offseason goal will be to catch on with a contending NBA team.