Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Bulls acquire Marco Belinelli
The Chicago Bulls finalized a deal with Marco Belinelli on Tuesday while Nazr Mohammed was taking a physical at the Berto Center before his deal was complete, according to a source familiar with the situation.
It was a busy day for the Bulls, who announced they would not match the three-year, $25.1 million offer by the Houston Rockets to Omer Asik. And the Bulls held a news conference to announce the return of Kirk Hinrich.
"When the Bulls called me, I was so happy," Belinelli said. "Chicago is a team that maybe can win a championship.
"I can play with a star like Derrick Rose. I think this is the best opportunity for me to go out and try to win a championship."
The 6-foot-5 shooting guard averaged a career-high 11.8 points while shooting 42 percent for the New Orleans Hornets last season. He'll fill the void created by the departure of Kyle Korver.
"I'm a type of player like him," Belinelli said. "Maybe I can create something more than him. I think he's just a shooter, but I think I can do more than him. I don't know. I'm going to try to do my best."
Belinelli shot 39 percent from three-point range last season.
"I think I'm a shooter," Belineilli said. "I'm a 3-point shooter and I try to be better in every part of my game. I just want to play pick-and-roll game and I want to go in and create something for my teammates."
Bulls GM Gar Forman said this was not the first time he's pursued Belinelli.
"Marco is a guy that we've had our eye on for several years and I've tried to acquire in the past," Forman said. "We think he's going to be a real asset for the Chicago Bulls.
"If you look at Marco's career, each and every year he's shown steady improvement. And we think at 26 years old, there's still a lot of upside to his game."
Belinelli may have to improve his defense to impress coach Tom Thibodeau.
"Defensive play is not my best," he said. "I think that I can play defense and it's one thing that can be better. I can be better, but if I play and I got confidence from other guys, I think I can do better stuff than other guys."
Mohammed, a Chicago native, will help offset the loss of Asik.
ESPNChicago.com's Jon Greenberg contributed to this report.