According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Hornets completed a trade that actually fell under the radar in NBA news this day. While the Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Hornets, New Jersey Nets and Houston Rockets completed a blockbuster trade, the Raptors and Hornets hooked up for a small deal.
The Raptors have acquired small forward Julian Wright from the Hornets in exchange for shooting guard Marco Belinelli.
Belinelli was brought in last season as a possible backup shooting guard. As the season progressed, he was passed by Sonny Weems on the Raptors depth chart. As a result, Marco received more DNP-CD's than actual minutes on the floor.
Last season, Belinelli averaged 7.1 PPG, 1.4 RPG, and 1.3 APG while shooting 83 percent from the free-throw line and 41 percent from the three-point line.
Belinelli, the 18th overall selection in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors, has yet to find his groove in the NBA. With this trade, it could mean yet another fresh start and another chance to prove himself. The ball is now in his court; it's his decision whether he wants to run with it, or double dribble it.
A 2007, first round (13th) pick by the New Orleans Hornets, Wright has also had a difficult time so far adjusting to the NBA. Wright by comparison is not even close to half of the offensive player Belinelli is. Wright though, for what he lacks on the offensive end, makes up for it on the defensive end.
He averaged only 3.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG and 0.6 APG in 12 minutes of action, and with Wright added to the Roster, it appears the Raptors have their guard rotations set:
Now it's time to get rid of Jose Calderon and Reggie Evans, and the season should be set to start.
Thoughts on this small deal?