Guard Marco Belinelli is finalizing a buyout agreement with Atlanta Hawks


Atlanta Hawks guard Marco Belinelli finalized a buyout agreement that clears the way for him to become a free agent, the team announced Friday.

Belinelli, 31, had been in trade discussions for the rebuilding Hawks, but the team didn’t complete a deal before the league’s trade deadline on Thursday afternoon. His ability to shoot the ball is appealing to contenders anxious to strengthen their bench rotations.

Before Thursday’s deadline, the Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder were among teams believed to be interested in trading for him, league sources said. Those teams do have roster spots available to sign a free agent.

Free agents need to be bought out of contracts before March 1 to be eligible for playoff rosters.

Belinelli has averaged 11.4 points per game this season for the Hawks. In a decade in the NBA, he has averaged 9.8 points a game.

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