It’s not quite certain that Shawn Marion will continue to play in the NBA, but he’ll have plenty of teams going after him once he opens himself up to negotiations, as the Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder lead a number of teams showing interest in him, with the Cleveland Cavaliers and New Orleans Pelicans also waiting to being the race.
Marion has been in the NBA for 15 seasons, spending the last five with the Dallas Mavericks, which included winning the NBA title in 2011. He averaged 10.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season, and can still provide a healthy contribution at both the small forward and power forward positions, both in numbers and in his defense.
The Dallas Mavericks seem to have moved on. They’ve signed both Rashard Lewis and Richard Jefferson over the last couple of days to fill out their roster which will be built around Monta Ellis, Dirk Nowitzki and Chandler Parsons on offense, while Tyson Chandler will try to recapture that magic from 2011. Marion, who probably wants more than a minimum contract (made $9 million last season), isn’t going to have a lot of room left for him in Dallas.
Marion has been talking about making the decision that’s right by him and his son, his chief adviser according to Marion. Sure, it’s likely he’ll be trying to find himself on a team with a chance for both minutes and hopes of a title. The Bulls seem a bit loaded at the moment in the frontcourt, but a bit thin at Small Forward. The Oklahoma City Thunder have plenty of use for Marion as well, and wouldn’t mind nabbing another former Mavs player just to add some flavor into the rivalry.
What about the Cleveland Cavaliers? Right now it seems like a much more interesting destination than before, although it might not mean a lot of minutes to someone who is used to playing 30 minutes a night or more since the start of the millennium. Marion has been on the decline for quite some time; he’s 36. He knows it’s time to make sacrifices when it comes to his salary and his playing time if he wants to be part of a winning team.
The Bulls have another edge, although it hasn’t really worked for them in the past with other free agents: Marion is from the area, although he played his high school basketball in Tennessee, so it might not be too much of an advantage.