Former Chicago Bulls: Marco Belinelli headed overseas to play in Italy

Marco Belinelli Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Marco Belinelli Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

Former Chicago Bulls shooting guard/wing and the 34-year-old Italian Marco Belinelli is headed back to his home country to play with Virtus Bologna.

A former member of the Chicago Bulls from the early 2010’s, 34-year-old shooting guard/wing Marco Belinelli, is headed to play overseas in his home country starting next season. The now former San Antonio Spurs veteran role player and sharpshooter likely could’ve continued his NBA career through this offseason, but he elected to take his talents back home for next season.

The news that Belinelli is taking his talents back overseas to play in Italy came courtesy of a press release from the team he signed with, Virtus Bologna, on the morning of Nov. 26. Belinelli signed a three-year deal to go back to Italy to play with Virtus Bologna.

The fact that Belinelli already signed a contract to go and play back in Europe does mean that there was likely a lack of interest coming from the NBA teams for him in this cycle of free agency. The last contract that Belinelli signed came with the Spurs, worth around $12 million over the course of two years.

That last contract that Belinelli signed with the Spurs was back during the 2018 offseason, making him an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He only gave it about a week since this cycle of free agency started for negotiations before taking his talents back overseas.

Belinelli has played in one season with Virtus Bologna before. He spent the 2002-03 season in EuroLeague and Lega Serie A with Virtus Bologna. He then rounded out his initial tenure playing in Italy in the early-to-mid 2000’s with Skipper Fortitudo Bologna and Climamio Fortitudo Bologna until the end of the 2006-07 season.

In the 2007 NBA Draft, Belinelli was the 18th overall pick in the first round of the Golden State Warriors. He spent his first two seasons in the NBA in the late 2000’s with the Warriors, and then one more season with the Toronto Raptors. But his career in the NBA really took off with the New Orleans Hornets (now the Pelicans) during the 2010-11 season.

After spending two seasons with the Hornets in the early 2010’s, Belinelli landed with the Bulls for the 2012-13 season. In that 2012-13 regular season, Belinelli played in 73 games for the Bulls (27 of which he started in). And he averaged 9.6 points per game, 1.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.6 steals, and 0.1 blocks.

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In total for his career in the NBA, Belinelli played in 860 regular season games (219 of which he started in). And he got one NBA Championship, during the 2013-14 season with the Spurs. For his career in the regular season, Belinelli averaged 9.7 points per game, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists.