After failing to meet the initial expectations that surrounded his arrival as a first-round pick two years ago, the Golden State Warriors have traded guard Marco Belinelli(notes) to the Toronto Raptors, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday night.
Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo and his assistant GM, Maurizio Gherardini, have long been admirers of Belinelli and tried to draft him in 2007. The Warriors selected the Italian guard with the 18th pick of the draft, and a sensational debut in that year's summer league led everyone, including Golden State coach Don Nelson, to believe Belinelli had a promising future in the free-flowing Warriors offense. Yet, he played little as a rookie, and although Belinelli averaged over 20 minutes and nearly nine points a game last season, the Warriors clearly lost some faith in his future.
Belinelli joins a Toronto organization that is fascinated with the European player. He'll join fellow Italian Andrea Bargnani(notes) (Italy), guard Jose Calderon(notes) (Spain) and Hedo Turkoglu(notes) (Turkey), among others, with Toronto.
George, 31, arrived in Toronto this summer as part of the Shawn Marion(notes) sign-and-trade with Dallas. He averaged 3.4 points a game for the Mavericks a year ago. George played seven seasons with the Lakers, before joining Dallas in 2006.