NBA Rumor: Cavs made ‘lucrative’ offer to Marco Belinelli

Buried in this July 4th NBA free agency news was a rumored contract offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers to guard Marco Belinelli, who then signed with the San Antonio Spurs.

ESPN.com’s Marc Stein was the main source who reported Cleveland’s unfruitful interest in the 27-year-old Italian shooter.

Stein later added that the Spurs acted fast on Belinelli because they’re uncertain if they’ll retain restricted free agent guard Gary Neal, a major bench cog on their run to the NBA Finals last season.

According to Stein’s reporting, the possible contract offers out there on the market for the 28-year-old Neal are past the price range San Antonio is comfortable matching. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Spurs still do hope to retain Neal.

Belinelli, the No. 18 pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, played this past season with the Chicago Bulls. He has posted fairly consistent regular season production in the past three years, including the previous two with New Orleans. His averages: 73 games, 26.5 minutes, 10.6 points, 41.7% shooting, 38.6% three-point shooting.

San Antonio nabbed the guard with a two-year, $6 million contract. It has not been reported, outside of unclear Twitter rumblings, what the Cavs’ offer might have been for Belinelli. It is known that GM Chris Grant still does have over $15 million at his disposal, even after the team reached an agreement with free agent forward Earl Clark on Thursday.

Cleveland still has a large hole to fill at the shooting guard position. Their current options are Dion Waiters, Sergey Karasev and Alonzo Gee, but no reports have been given about C.J. Miles’ potential return to the team. Wayne Ellington did not receive a qualifying offer, as well.

[Related: The NBA Draft may be complete, but Chris Grant’s job is just getting started]

  • Mike P

    I can’t tell if this is good or bad news.
    Lets just hope Howard goes to the Warriors, and we can steal Bogut, Jefferson, and either Thompson or Barnes from them. (I can dream)

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’d have preferred Belinelli to Earl Clark but this is the reality of three horrible losing seasons. As for Golden State I’m seriously skeptical Howard goes there (it would be a great fit probably makes more sense then either LA or Houston) but even so you can forget about Thompson and Barnes. Jefferson, why? Bogut would be decent but personally I’d love David Lee but with Bennett and Thompson around that won’t happen.

  • Robbie S

    Since he’s mentioned, I wouldn’t mind making a run at Gary Neal.

  • JacobWFNY

    Belinelli and Clark fit two different holes on the team. Actually, Clark didn’t really fit much of a roster hole (we have enough tweeners), but he kinda works alongside Bennett as they have matching skills.

  • JacobWFNY

    Hmmmm. Intriguing. Perhaps though, the team might be interested in a more defensive-minded guard. Neal is a streaky shooter and that’s it. He’s also 28, so what you see is what you get. I also bet he’s getting guaranteed multiple years.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I understand the roles I was simply saying that if I had to pick between Belinelli and Clark I’d prefer Belinelli is all.

  • edgargn_1218

    True. However, me being a Spurs fan, have watched Gary Neal play many games and I can honestly tell you he´s a poor man´s Robert Horry. The dude is good for at least 2 or 3 triples a game. And is definitely a clutch player. On occasiones Gary has won us some games cause of those clutch shots of his. I hope the Spurs keep him.