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Report: Shawn Marion commits to play with Cavaliers, LeBron James

Aug 17, 2014, 11:37 AM EST

Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors Getty Images

Shawn Marion said going into free agency winning was what mattered. And when faced with basically just veteran minimum offers he took the one where he is most likely to have a shot at a ring.

As had been expected for weeks, Marion told the Cleveland Cavaliers over the weekend he would commit to play with them and LeBron James next season, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.

Sources told ESPN.com that Marion informed the Cavaliers this weekend that he intends to sign with them this month despite the fact that Cleveland can only offer him a minimum deal…

Sources say that Marion has been telling teams for weeks that he hopes to wind up with a championship contender if he leaves the Dallas Mavericks in free agency. Marion spent the past five seasons with the Mavs and helped them win the first championship in franchise history in 2011 as a key role player who guarded players at four positions.

The Cavaliers could offer only a $1.4 million veteran minimum salary for the 15-year veteran who averaged 10.4 points a game with a solid .537 true shooting percentage and he shot 35 percent from three last season for Dallas. For those numbers that’s below market value. But as we moved into late August the only other offer on the table was from the Indiana Pacers, who couldn’t go higher than $1.7 million without getting into the luxury tax that team president Larry Bird reiterated last week was a line the franchise would not cross. The Pacers could have used Marion to help fill in for the injured Paul George, but they are not a contender and will struggle to even make the playoffs in the East this season. There was reported late interest from the Los Angeles Clippers, but they can only offer the minimum and are in the much deeper Western Conference.

With LeBron, Kyrie Irving and by next weekend when it becomes official Kevin Love, the Cavaliers will be right at the top of the East (along with the Bulls). Marion adds needed versatility and veteran depth to that team, as does Mike Miller (and they continue to go after Ray Allen for that same reason). Marion is not vintage Matrix at age 36, but he can be a solid reserve and gives them defense.

It’s another great pickup by the Cavaliers.

  1. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 17, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    The Matrix Reloaded! Second best signing by Cleveland this summer.

    • 2016olympics - Aug 17, 2014 at 11:49 AM

      Shawn Marion is 36 years old.

      • zzzzzzzzzzz11 - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:32 AM

        we can read

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 17, 2014 at 11:56 AM

      Father Time has caught him.

      He’s a savvy vet now, but he is no longer The Matrix…

      Good player still, but his role and production will be different.

      Shawn’s offensive rating has been below his career average of 110 (110 is very good by the way) for the last 6 consecutive seasons.

      Shawn’s defensive rating has been below his career average of 101 (101 is fantastic) for the last 7 consecutive seasons now. His defensive rating was up to 108 last season.

      In other words, for many seasons now Shawn’s career has been on the downside and he hasn’t gotten any younger.

      His win shares per 48 min’s has been lower than his career average in this stat for the past 6 consecutive seasons too…

      He’s gliding into the landing portion of his career… the runway lights are in sight…

      Shawn hasn’t retired yet, but The Matrix retired several seasons ago…

      Any Cavs fans expecting The Matrix to appear on the court will be disappointed.

      • genericcommenter - Aug 17, 2014 at 4:14 PM

        Uh, no one’s expecting him to be a star for the vet’s minimum. He’s a nice piece for a contender who is capable of outproducing his role if needed.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 17, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      Okay okay I get it; Shawn Marion is old.

      But we all knew Matrix Reloaded wasn’t going to live up to the original yet twice as many people went to see it anyway.

      • genericcommenter - Aug 17, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        These people want a 3rd-Team All-NBA caliber player as a reserve for the league minimum.

  2. lacolem1 - Aug 17, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    You don’t have to add a qualifier. They’ll be at the top of the East, period.

    • dls612 - Aug 17, 2014 at 3:55 PM

      @lacolem ,They’ll be at the top of the east! Just look at your comment! That’s the best you’re hoping for! Being at the top of your conference doesn’t guarantee a title! Match ups and coaching will determined the outcome! There are a lot of great teams in the league especially in the west! SO Cleaveland fans humble yourselves.

      • nickjackalson - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:33 AM

        @dls612

        now´s not the time of humblings..
        now is the time for dreams
        or maybe even realistic expectations..

        during the season comes the humbling

      • longsufferingclevelandfan - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        First of all, learn to spell. It’s Cleveland. Maybe, a little more time in school and off the ‘net. Secondly, there can be 500 great teams in the West but we just have to get to the finals and beat one.

  3. rustyshackleford1 - Aug 17, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    i’ll never get that ugly ass shot down in 2k

  4. balsagna - Aug 17, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Free agents will never come to Cleveland. Can we put that story line to bed yet? This is a huge get for the Cavs. Marion can defend everything but the center position, and can give Lebron a breather defensively. One of the main reasons people were concerned about the Wiggins trade is that Wiggins could have reduced some of the defensive pressure off Lebron, thus lowering his minutes (in theory). Marion can provide that at least next year.

    • nycalldayz - Aug 17, 2014 at 12:15 PM

      @balsagna You do understand Lebron’s presence is playing a major role in Love, Miller, Marion, Jones coming to Cleveland. Do u honestly believe that those guys would sign with the Cavs if Lebron wasn’t around? C’mon. lol

      • balsagna - Aug 17, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        What’s your point? Part of the story line when Lebron left was that players won’t sign here because it’s Cleveland. Well, that’s certainly not true. You can put that same storyline for any team. Free agents aren’t going anywhere just for the weather. You need a team and a superstar, that’s the same for most every basketball team.

        Lebron is here. Free agents will come here as a result. It doesn’t matter that it’s Cleveland, a championship basketball team can be built here. Put that story to rest.

      • scorp16 - Aug 17, 2014 at 12:50 PM

        Free agents always went to Cleveland when LeBron was there before. The problem was they were past their prime FA’s like Shaquille, West, Williams, and Jamison. so Lebron is able to bring in a 34 year old Mike Miller, 36 year old Shawn Marion, and soon probably a 39 year old Ray Allen. He is creating the same type of a team he wanted to leave in Miami. The same type of team he left Cleveland because of 4 years ago.

        Cavs fans think Love is the answer. He’s not. Not when your giving up Wiggins and Bennet. It seems everyone thinks Love just walks in and he’s the same 26/12 guy he easy last year. You’ll figure it out the hard way. Love’s numbers go down, Irving’s numbers go down. Irving is forced to play off the ball, he has not proven he can be effective without the ball in his hands.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 17, 2014 at 1:11 PM

        @nycalldayz So uhhh…. LeBron signing in Cleveland when they didn’t have LeBron doesn’t count as a huge free agent signing?

      • mackcarrington - Aug 17, 2014 at 7:32 PM

        I think I see your point. But the question I have is: When LeBron was in Miami the last 4 years why weren’t players flocking to Cleveland? Even in LeBrons 1st stint in Cleveland, players weren’t going there. It was only after he finally won something somewhere else that they said, “Ok, I’ll roll with this guy now.”

      • urodaddy07 - Aug 17, 2014 at 10:17 PM

        I think the overall point though is if you build a good organization that can win, free agents will come. Doesn’t matter where it is. Cleveland lucked into it a bit but if small market teams are serious about winning and if they are patient it can be done. Build a solid organization and players will want to play for you

    • greenandgoldgirl - Aug 17, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      The ONLY reason players are coming to Cleveland is because LBJ won a championship in Miami. If he had not do you really think these guys would be willing to play there? Cleveland owes a debt of thanks to the Heat, DWade and Pat Riley. Keep it real.

      • balsagna - Aug 17, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        Miami should grovel at Lebron’s feet. He carried the Heat to 2 titles. Miami should also thank the ineptitude of Cleveland’s front office while he was here first go round. How far back do you want to go?

        You act as if basketball free agents regularly sign with crappy basketball teams. When a free agent’s services are coveted by multiple basketball teams they are going to pick the best basketball situation. Cleveland offers a wonderful basketball situation, the city is a non factor. So, put the story to rest. It doesn’t matter. A championship caliber basketball team CAN (and is) being built in Cleveland contrary to the popular storyline the media fed the nation in 2010.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 17, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        LeBron was a free agent who signed with a crappy Cavs team and yet here you are saying exactly the opposite that they can’t attract talent.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 17, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        Green and Pro

        Cleveland hasn’t and couldn’t land talent.

        Lebron ONLY went back to the Cavs because he was from there.

        If Lebron had been born in California or anywhere else but the Cleveland area, he would not have gone back there.

        Dan Gilbert didn’t do anything to attract talent.

        He LUCKED into Lebron being from around there.

        Now, others will come to play with a Lebron since he’s the best player in the league.

        But to be sure, Cleveland and Gilbert and the Cavs didn’t attract talent.

        Cleveland doesn’t have to thank Miami for Lebron. Lebron wouldn’t have gone to Cleveland if he wasn’t from there.

        Even if he didn’t win a title in Miami, he’s still the best player in the league, just like KD is ringless and the 2nd best player in the league.

      • antistratfordian - Aug 17, 2014 at 4:00 PM

        Cleveland should only thank DWade for not showing up in the Finals, because if he played well the Heat probably would’ve three-peated and LeBron would still be in Miami.

    • hannsta - Aug 17, 2014 at 1:16 PM

      I doubt most people even realize they are signing up for the city as well. They just saw Lebron said “Im In!!”

  5. zoomy123 - Aug 17, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    If Cleveland really wants to upgrade their defense, they’ll trade Tristan Thompson for Jason Smith and Iman Shumpert.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 17, 2014 at 1:16 PM

      I’m not sure why you are getting so many down-thumbs. Tristan Thompson was in the bottom 5 in paint defense last year and bottom 5 in shots blocked around the rim. He needs a lot of work defensively.

      • blackman24 - Aug 17, 2014 at 1:59 PM

        Yep…Kevin Love was right there with him. Both gave up around 60% to opposing PF/C in the paint. Teams will have a field day in the paint against them. Don’t tell that to Cav fans, they think Lebron will cover up all their deficiencies, they will have a great Offense, but struggle on the defensive end.

      • blackman24 - Aug 17, 2014 at 2:02 PM

        Poor defensive teams usually miss the playoffs, right? Well, SportVU measures the opposing field goal percentage of every rim protector (from 1 to 5 feet). Of anyone averaging 30-plus minutes per game at power forward or center last season, the NBA’s five worst interior defenders were Thaddeus Young (60.2% FG), Tristan Thompson (59.1%), Kevin Love (57.4%), Nikola Vucevic (56.4%) and Nikola Pekovic (55.2%). By that same criterion, the NBA’s worst shot-blockers were Zach Randolph at 0.3 blocks per game, David Lee, Thompson and Pekovic at 0.4 blocks, then Love, Young and Glen Davis at 0.5 blocks. Yes, Love and Pekovic were Minnesota’s two highest-paid players last season.

      • zoomy123 - Aug 17, 2014 at 2:53 PM

        Most people don’t realize how poor of a player Tristan Thompson is. By every measure (DRPM, on/off splits, defensive rating, FG% at the rim) Thompson is a terrible defender. Offensively he has no go to moves in the low post + you can’t play him out of the high post because he shoots under 40% outside of 3 feet and he can’t pass well enough. The only thing Thompson does very well is rebound but that can be replaced at a fraction of the cost. Jason Smith + Shumpert would be a huge defensive upgrade for the Cavs. Jason Smith is 7 foot 240 so he’s a big body that can take up space in the paint, he legitimately has the size to play either PF or C, he can consistently hit the 12-15 ft jumper to open up driving lanes, and he’s a much better defender. If Cleveland made this trade they would have a great balance of offense/defense.

      • antistratfordian - Aug 17, 2014 at 3:49 PM

        @blackman24

        But Minnesota ranked 12th defensively in spite of Love and Pekovic being poor rim protectors, so they were making up for that somewhere else. Btw, the Mavericks ranked 22nd defensively and still made the playoffs.

        FYI, defense isn’t just about opponent FG% at the rim. That’s only a small slice of the defensive pie. Overall, Love’s defense was pretty good – if you like DRPM then you are probably aware that it rates Love as being an above average defender. But Love’s opponent PER ALSO indicates that his defense was above average. Actually, not just above average, but good – as his opponent PER was 15.8, which was the same as Dwight Howard’s and a damn sight better than Chris Bosh (19.4).

      • blackman24 - Aug 17, 2014 at 6:00 PM

        @Anti Minnesota was also ranked 26th in PPG and 29th in OPP FG%, and I guarantee a lot of that didn’t come from teams shooting jump shots against them. Bottom line, is teams who have a good FC(Bulls, Wiz, etc.will feast downlow on the Cavs).

      • jeffkx - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:36 AM

        Which is why I think the Cavs are going to sign a shot blocking C..will have to be a minimum type guy but Cavs can’t go into the season with Tristan and Andy as the Cs.

  6. tampajoey - Aug 17, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Cavs are going to be nasty. In 2008-09 the Cavs won 66 games with Lebron and a supporting cast that was no where near as good as what has been assembled in Cleveland this off-season. Cavs are deep now and don’t need Shawn Marion and Ray Allen to be what they were in their 20’s when they will be just coming in off the bench to hang on to the lead that Lebron, Love, Kyrie and Waiters have given them.

  7. scorp16 - Aug 17, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    It’s all butterflies and unicorns for Cavs fans right now. Don’t confuse Cavs fans with actual facts, you know like the fact Cleveland is giving away youth in Wiggins and Bennett, and looking to replace depth with a 34 heard old injury prone Mike Miller, 36 year old past his prime Shawn Marion, and probably soon a 39 year old Ray Allen. And counting on a 34 year old Brendan Haywood who missed all of last season with a stress fracture. And Anderson Verajao who has not played an entire season healthy since 2009.

    Don’t bring up those facts. It gets in the way of the butterflies and it scares the unicorns.

  8. Paveltann - Aug 17, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    Class act. Really good pick up for Cavs. Mavs will miss having him.

  9. jzone954 - Aug 17, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    Decent vet signing.

  10. lazegowizfan95 - Aug 17, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Still won’t beat the Wizards though

  11. antistratfordian - Aug 17, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Ah… so many fan bases wanted him, but the Cavs got him. It’s a smart choice for him – his best chance to get ring #2. The Cavs can use his pick and roll defense (which he used to great effect vs the Spurs in their first round matchup last season).

  12. clevelandrox - Aug 17, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    cleveland rocks

  13. seasickcecil - Aug 17, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    Another tasty appetizer to get them ready for the main course which shall be served on August 23.

  14. mungman69 - Aug 17, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Thad Young was never a power forward. Even when the Sixers were forced to play Thad at a 4 many times the other forward would defend the 4. Thad is a 3 and a very good one. If the Wolves don’t pick him up they’re stupid.

  15. cantonbound13 - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    LeBron’s a better GM than Riley

  16. iammr713 - Aug 17, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    A lot of these guys will be upset by Jan-Feb when they are receiving those DNP.. Not many mins to spread around for everyone.

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:29 AM

      Lol I was thinking the same thing, especially when Ray Allen gets there.

  17. blackbirdrising2014 - Aug 17, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    A good defense is all you need in the NBA …it was the 3 pointers that demoralized the HEAT! and LeBron knows this! In the last 2 Finals, 8 out of the 12 games were blowouts…chemistry and floor spacing are more important!

  18. mcsuave - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    Marion helps give them a helluva bench. Now they go after Ray Allen.

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