The Bulls’ offseason moves were not quite what fans expected. They expected a point guard to come help out while Derrick Rose would sit out and possibly another shooting guard. Instead, surprise came with an end to the Bench Mob. This conclusion was a major upset. Despite this, the signing of Marco Belinelli was a good choice.
Many have compared Belinelli to Kyle Korver since his signing with the Bulls, because both are known for their shooting ability. Last season, Belinelli shot 41.7% on field goals and 37.7% on threes while on the New Orleans Hornets. These percentages are just under Belinelli’s career averages of 42.4% and 39.3%. With statistics like that, not only will Belinelli be able to take care of the shooting lost with Korver’s departure, but he will also be able to space the floor in the same way.
After being in the NBA for five years, Belinelli has gained a reputation as a shooter, but he can do more than that. He has shown that he can drive to the hole and can handle the ball relatively well. Belinelli even has a bit of experience playing the one from his days in New Orleans. He will not be expected to take on responsibilities like that with Kirk Hinrich, Nate Robinson, and even Marquis Teague available until Derrick Rose is back, but it certainly does not hurt to have those skills or experience.
As for defense, Belinelli is not known for it and could definitely use the improvement, but he is only 26 and has plenty of time to improve. If he wants to prove himself on this Bulls team though, he will need to learn to pick up the pace defensively. Belinelli will need to learn to become more of a defensive player to receive consistent minutes on a team coached by Tom Thibodeau. Having a great jump shot is not going to be enough. There needs to be some kind of consistency coming from both ends of the floor. Korver is not a defensive player and has had his struggles, but he always gave it his best effort and did fine with team defense. He even improved his defense after his first season with the Bulls. Belinelli does not need to turn into an elite defender, but he will need to at least handle the team defense and perform decent with it.
Belinelli’s sharpshooting ability will definitely serve a good purpose. With his addition, trading Korver is not as much of a loss. While fans can expect Belinelli to get his jump shot going, the question will be whether or not he can make strides defensively.