There have been indications the Mavericks are not intending to deal Shawn Marion prior to the NBA trade deadline, but we know how these things work. That could easily change if the Mavs receive an enticing offer for the 33-year-old slashing forward.
What could also influence this decision is the downward spiral the Mavs are currently amidst. They've dropped eight of their last ten games, and will very likely have to battle to simply make the playoffs.
It's safe to say that a repeat as champions is highly unlikely for Dallas. Quite frankly, it's an outlandish thought, unless the Mavs decide to go "all-in" and somehow acquire Steve Nash and another veteran contributor, such as Ray Allen.
But the Mavs don't appear to be pursuing any bold moves to enhance their roster prior to the deadline. The reason for this is likely because superstars Dwight Howard and Dallas native Deron Williams are set to be free agents this offseason, and Dallas figures to make a major run at not just one of but both All-Star players.
Because of this great hope, the Mavs appear content to essentially "concede" this season. It appears that they're willing to watch this season slip away because they're going "all-in" come the offseason.
If this is the attitude of the Mavs' management, which there's no reason to think it isn't, then trading Shawn Marion now makes major sense.
Marion's become a fan favorite for his versatility, as he's shown the ability to be a difference-maker in a handful of ways. But with the potential of a Mavs repeat waning, and with marquee players in Howard and Williams looming, the Mavs would be wise to cut ties with Marion and his hefty contract that's still on their books.
This is a wise decision for numerous reasons:
1. Marion's still a quality player and teams would surely be interested in his services. His stock remains valued, but this could be different in a year if he begins to show signs of wear and tear.
2. Trading Marion frees up more cap space to acquire both Howard and Williams. Shedding the three years remaining on Marion's contract creates much more financial flexibility as the Mavs look toward the future.
3. Even if they hold on to Marion this year, the hopes of the Mavs repeating are clearly slim. While it may appear like the Mavs are "forfeiting" this season if they trade Marion, they really won't be forfeiting much, considering the current Mavs are on the bubble of the playoffs.
It's apparent that there are numerous reasons why the time has come for the Mavs to part ways with "the Matrix."
While it may be hard for Mavs fans to bid farewell to him, they must consider the broad perspective of what's taking place. The Mavs are floundering, and it's time to look toward the future; selling Marion while his price is still high is a decision they won't regret as they look toward bigger and better things beyond 2012.