Free agent profile: Marco Belinelli
This is the 26th post in a series of free-agent profiles that analyzes particular players and how they might fit in with the Lakers.
New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Marco Belinelli
Type of free agent: Unrestricted
Positives: The Lakers need three-point shooting and Belinelli certainly provides it. He has shot 42.7% from three-point range, has a history of making clutch baskets and provides an incredible work ethic. Belinelli certainly has limitations outside of his shooting stroke, but the Lakers are looking for a decent backup shooting guard, not someone who can start. Because of all those qualities, Belinelli would certainly be content with that role.
Negatives: Belinelli doesn't have much strength in any other areas outside of shooting, so his actual value is pretty limited. But even Belinelli has shown that his shooting consistency can remain suspect throughout the season. It'd be risky to bring in a perceived strong outside shooter only to see him get in a shooting slump.
Lakers fans well remember that Steve Blake and Shannon Brown experienced similar issues last season. Blake responded to his slump with such tentativeness that even Kobe Bryant was saying he needed to shoot more. Despite constant pleas from Phil Jackson's coaching staff to shoot less, Brown actually responded in the exact opposite fashion. Belinelli very well may make the proper adjustments, but it's in the Lakers' interest to find a consistent outside shooter instead of a streaky outside shooter.
Verdict: Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus notes it's likely Belinelli stays with the Hornets. Still, the Lakers should go after him to fill their outside shooting needs. Again, the Lakers need to treat shooters as if they are simply utility players. Overlook their weaknesses and provide a modest offer for the needed outside shooting service they should provide. When applying that logic, it's a no-brainer that the Lakers should pursue Belinelli.
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