Veteran players on expensive deals are always in one way or another on the trading block, and although the Dallas Mavericks would like to get rid of Shawn Marion and his expiring contract, they’re not sure if there’s the right deal for it out there.
Marion will make $9.3 million next season, the final year on the five-year, $39 million deal he signed before getting traded to the Mavs in 2009. He has won an NBA title with Dallas, and even at 34 provided the usual blend of defense and all-around ability with 12.1 points and 7.8 rebounds, playing more and more as a power forward.
The Mavs, with around $8 million available to spend, are gunning for Andrew Bynum, who at the moment is trying to get a one-year deal for an eight-figure salary, even though he poses a huge risk. There’s also Monta Ellis as a viable option, although he might be a bit closer at the moment to the Sacramento Kings.
In any case, the Mavs are considering finding a team with enough cap space to take on the Marion deal, but aren’t sure if Bynum is worth clogging the cap for next season while giving up a player who might not be anywhere near his best, but still quite useful on both ends of the floor playing more than just one positions.
There’s more than just Bynum to think of. The Mavs can still try to add a cheaper center, although non of the other options (Jermaine O’Neal, Chris Andersen, Andrey Blatche, Samuel Dalembert, Joel Przyzbilla, J.J. Hickson and DeJuan Blair) are reliable for the long term. There’s also the option of re-signing Brandan Wright, another undersized player who gave them 18 minutes a night at center last season, and should be available for around $3 million a season.
While Marion can help them clear quite a lot of cap-space, there aren’t good enough options to lose him for, not to mention the Mavs seeing next season as somewhat of a transition year, building up towards having enough cap-space to contend in the 2014 free agency market. Marion can still be moved later on in the season, possibly with greater rewards to pick up from the move.