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.
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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.
Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell