Add another valuable championship piece to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Committed to Cavs
ESPN.com reports that Dallas Mavericks’ free agent Shawn Marion has committed to signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sources said that Marion has informed the Cavaliers’ management that he intends to sign with the team this month despite the fact that the Cleveland could only offer him a “minimum deal.”
Marion had spent the last five seasons playing for the Dallas Mavericks. He was the starting small forward of the Mavs’ 2011 Championship team, playing a crucial role as the primary defender of opposing star players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant.
Before the 2014 season ended, Marion had hoped to relocate to a championship contender should he hit free agency. Marion was still hoping to stay in Dallas but his departure from became imminent after the Mavs signed Rockets’ free agent Chandler Parsons and Al-Farouq Aminu, who are both small forwards like Marion.
In Hot Pursuit
The Indiana Pacers’ were in hot pursuit of Marion last week, after they were granted the $5.3M Disabled Player exception following the season ending injury suffered by Paul George last August 1st.
But after personally meeting with Pacers’ President Larry Bird last week, Marion made it clear that he wanted an opportunity to win another NBA title. Playing with LeBron James and the upgraded Cleveland Cavaliers definitely fits that bill and maximizes the Matrix’s chance of securing a second championship ring.
Marion averaged 10.4 points 6.5 rebounds 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game in 76 regular season games with the Mavericks last season. Although those numbers were slightly lower than his career averages, Marion was still a valuable contributor for the Mavs last season. He ranked second in the team in rebounds and steals while his .358 shooting from three point distance was his highest since 2002-03.
Defensively, Marion was tied with Samuel Dalembert and Monta Ellis with the second highest defensive win shares last season at 2.1. Marion was also 6th among NBA small forwards in steals per fouls at 0.72 and 9th in steals per turnover at 0.95.
But more than these statistical contributions, Marion’s championship experience is an invaluable asset for the young Cleveland Cavaliers which would make him seamlessly fit in their locker room. Aside from the 2011 championship, Marion’s teams have been in the playoffs in 10 of his 15 years, making deep playoff runs in several occasions.
With these intangibles added to his statistical value, a healthy Shawn Marion should be one of the key factors to Cleveland’s 2015 NBA title run.