Charlotte Hornets

Report: Hornets’ trade target Marco Belinelli breaks his jaw in Europe

Guard Marco Belinelli (shooting), who the Hornets have agreed to acquire in trade, reportedly broke his jaw over the weekend when Italy played an exhibition versus Canada.
Guard Marco Belinelli (shooting), who the Hornets have agreed to acquire in trade, reportedly broke his jaw over the weekend when Italy played an exhibition versus Canada. AP

Sacramento Kings guard Marco Belinelli, whom the Charlotte Hornets have agreed to acquire, reportedly suffered a broken jaw in an exhibition game between Canada and Italy.

European sports publication Sportando reported the injury on its web site. Sportando said Belinelli is still with the Italian national team, which will play in an Olympic qualifying tournament in Turin next month.

The Hornets agreed to send the 22nd overall pick to the Kings for shooting guard Belinelli. That deal can’t be completed until after July 7, when the NBA’s new salary-cap year begins.

Hornets GM Rich Cho talks about Hornets trade of 22nd NBA draft pick for Sacramento guard Marco Belinelli

The Hornets selected Syracuse guard Malachi Richardson with the 22nd pick on the Kings’ behalf.

The Hornets have acknowledged they are in trade discussions, but can’t talk about the deal in any detail until the new salary-cap year begins. While Belinelli would have to pass a physical to complete the trade, it seems unlikely a broken jaw would negate this deal.

Jaw fractures generally take a minimum of four to six weeks to heal, so he would seemingly be ready for training camp in October.

Belinelli struggled last season with the Kings, averaging 10.2 points and career-low 30.6 percent from 3-point range. He’ll enter his tenth NBA season with two years and about $13 million remaining on his contract.

Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac - a former Charlotte Hornet - said following the NBA draft that in addition to building for the future, the Kings brought in plenty of new talent. The moves included trading shooting guard Marco Belinel

Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell

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