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Report: Shawn Marion meets with Larry Bird, Pacers on Monday

Aug 11, 2014, 11:06 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors Getty Images

When Paul George went down with a horrific leg injury playing for Team USA, leaving him out for next season, Indiana’s question heading into next season went from “can they get back to contending?” to “should they tank and try to get a high lottery pick?”

Still, they need to get someone to fill Paul’s role on the team and one of the first names to come up was Shawn Marion.

The Cavaliers were considered the front runners but can only offer a minimum contract, and frankly Marion deserves a little more than that after his past season. The Pacers can offer a little bit more and made their pitch Monday, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

What the Cavaliers can offer is winning, once the Kevin Love trade goes through they are legitimate title contenders for the foreseeable future.

What the Pacers can offer is a little more money. With George out the Pacers applied for the disabled player exception, which would allow them to sign a player for up to $5.3 million. Except Indiana is not going to offer that much. Even if the Pacers waive their unguaranteed contracts they are about $2.5 million below the luxury tax line that the team is not going to cross. They are not going to offer more.

That’s about a little more than a million more than the Cavs (Cleveland is just $1.7 million under the cap as is). For a 15-year veteran who has $133 million in career earnings, is that enough reason not to go for the team that is a contender?

That’s why the Cavaliers are considered the front runners. We’ll see what Marion decides soon.

  1. clevelandrox - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:18 PM

    you take the blue, your story ends you wake up in your bed and your story’s over
    you take the red pill you stay in wonderland and the Cavs will show you how deep the hole goes…

  2. JMClarkent - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    If I am the Pacers, I skip the veteran FA’s and use this year is my “Spurs Pre-Tim Duncan” year. Move some salary, aim for the lottery and come back next year with a healthy Paul George and a lottery pick.

    The alternate option is go for the 8th seed and blow a year for nothing.

    • mackcarrington - Aug 12, 2014 at 12:58 AM

      And who would be your target in next years lottery?

      • 76ersdoubletank - Aug 12, 2014 at 11:58 AM

        The Pacers could target a variety of bigs who will probably come out next year like Jahlil Okafor, Karl Towns, or even a PG like Muiday.

        Tanking wouldn’t be the worst thing for the Pacers this year.

  3. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    Pacers: mo’ money mo’ problems
    Cavaliers: no money, but get to do sweet Harlem Shake video with LeBron

    decisions, decisions

  4. bparmalee - Aug 12, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    I’d rather see the players add young guys (like Josh Davis) and try to develop them, than rent older vets to grind out the 8th seed. Trade Hibbert, trade West, trade Hill, get draft picks and get younger. Time to build for the future.

  5. antistratfordian - Aug 12, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    I don’t know why the Pacers would even want to add Marion. For what reason? Should they be trying to win games?

  6. wlubake - Aug 12, 2014 at 12:34 AM

    If Marion takes a vet minimum deal, how is he not a Mav again this year?

    • zoomy123 - Aug 12, 2014 at 3:52 AM

      Did you forget about the Cavaliers? lol

  7. balsagna - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    Not sure what the Pacers angle is here. Signing Marion doesn’t make them a contender, and they have the opportunity to get another high level talent in the draft to put around a hopefully healthy George. I know the prospect of tanking sucks, but there is no one out there that is going to replace the production they have lost this offseason. It’s time to get into the lottery Indiana, I feel for the fans, but it’s the right move for the long term in my humble opinion.

  8. dbfan4ever - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:12 AM

    It’s not rocket science here follow Colts example. Peyton goes down with injury then they draft Luck.

  9. 12444uggg - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    The thing you’re all missing is how long it had been since the last time anyone cared about the Pacers in Indiana, until these last few seasons. Tanking will undo all of that rebuilding support. And theres no way to know if a lottery pick helps at all. The franchise would do better to remain competitive

  10. whitwarren - Aug 12, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Marion wins idiot of the year if he chooses the Pacers over the Cavs.

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