Marco Belinelli ended up being a key contributor for the Bulls last year, thanks in part to the absence of Derrick Rose, but also because of the incredibly high number of injuries his teammates sustained, especially near the end of the season.
It wasn’t supposed to be that way in Chicago, and with the team betting on health next season, Belinelli was allowed to walk as an unrestricted free agent.
While many teams came calling, Belinelli says that what the Spurs were offering, both in terms of contract and opportunity, was ultimately too good for him to pass up.
Why the Spurs?
MB: Because I think it’s one of the best teams or maybe the best team in the NBA, they have a great organization, a great coach. I will improve my game and try to help the team to win the championship.
How was their pitch?
MB: This summer a lot of teams called me to sign a contract with them. But at the same time when a team like San Antonio and a coach like Gregg Popovich call you, and they want you so bad on their team, then you want to win the championship with them. The money was good, it’s a two-year deal, but at the same time it was the best team to improve my game and try to win the title.
The Spurs not only have a team full of international players that Belinelli can relate to on a personal level, but their professionalism and championship pedigree is virtually unmatched around the league.
As long as the dollars were there — and they were, as Belinelli signed for two years guaranteed for almost $6 million in total — then San Antonio, given all that they have going for them, was clearly an easy choice for Belinelli to make.