The Dallas Mavericks are looking to make their 2013 offseason all about the free-agent market. With the promise of signing multiple superstars to pair with Dirk Nowitzki and Rick Carlisle, the Mavericks might have a shot at signing some of the summer's biggest stars, like Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.
Two things are presently getting in their way: their 2013 draft pick, and Shawn Marion.
One of those is highly valuable to other teams. The other is not. However, trying to package them together, they might get some heads turned from some of the other teams around the league. While the Mavericks won't do a trade without getting something back, I think that they're already all in on the free-agent class of 2014, and should dump anything getting in their way, including Marion. Here are some teams who might be up for doing a pick-for-Marion swap.
The Utah Jazz are in a perfect position to make this swap with the Mavericks.
First of all, they still have their amnesty clause available to them, and it doesn't look like they'll have the ability to use it effectively any time soon. The clause states that this provision must be used on a player signed before the 2011 lockout, and the thing expires completely in 2015. Unless the Jazz are thinking of taking out a year on Marvin Williams' contract, this might be the way to use it.
The Jazz would take over two picks in the late lottery, and could easily just amnesty the final year of Shawn Marion's contract. Then they could be looking at taking a couple of players that could easily develop into stars. They could take a risk on a player like Shabazz Muhammad, and then take a safer pick with No. 14 like Steven Adams.
If Dallas is demanding a little more than just taking on Marion's contract for this deal to go through, the Jazz also have the No. 21 pick they can use to negotiate with Dallas' No. 44 pick, and their own No. 46 pick.
The Pistons have discovered that they have some luck late in the draft. After nabbing Greg Monroe with the seventh overall pick in the 2010 draft, and Andre Drummond ninth in 2012, I think they'll be okay with No. 8. However, that may just make No. 13 that much more enticing.
Like the Jazz, the Pistons still have yet to capitalize on that amnesty clause ruling from a few years back, and giving it up to grab another late lottery pick may be exactly what the franchise needs.
While the biggest needs currently are on the wings, Shabazz Muhammad isn't exactly a risk worth taking at No. 8. However, with two picks in the first round, Muhammad could be a steal. This would open the Pistons up to taking a true wing player like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope or going with C.J. McCollum to try the point guard position.
Right now, Chad Ford has Detroit taking Anthony Bennett with the eighth pick, and hoping that he adapts to playing the small forward position. While this isn't an unreasonable thought, he's clearly more of a stretch 4. And with Drummond and Monroe already in the paint, the Pistons need more on the wings.
There's also a potential of the Pistons moving up with the eight and 13 picks. Someone like Charlotte or Washington might bite on the possibility of getting two late lottery picks in exchange for a higher pick. Phoenix is also in desperate need of players and could swap its No. 5 pick to move down and double up.
The only problem would be if the Mavericks would demand more than just cap space for getting rid of their favored Marion. They also don't have any international rights to any players, and their highest pick of the second round is at No. 37. So Dallas may ask for some future picks or some low cost replacements (Kyle Singler, Jonas Jerebko) in exchange.
The New Orleans Pelicans, like the Jazz and Pistons, have cap room and the use of the amnesty clause. The one thing that separates them is that they may not use it if a trade for Marion were to happen.
The Pelicans are actively looking for some pieces to add to a roster already filling up nicely with Anthony Davis, Greivis Vasquez, Al-Farouq Aminu, Ryan Anderson and (baring a trade) Eric Gordon. Obviously adding another lottery pick would be enticing to the Pelicans. However, adding an experienced player like Marion who would remain on the books for just one year might be just as enticing.
Adding players like Alex Len, Cody Zeller or Dario Saric with a couple of lottery picks to go along with a team that would include Marion on it would be a great move for the franchise that might rebuild a lot quicker from the Chris Paul era than expected.
New Orleans can use that roster to push into or near the playoffs next season, and then watch Marion's contract come off the books, and use the extra cash (somewhere in the ballpark of $34,653,542) to re-sign Vasquez and bring in a top free agent to pair with a team of young, budding superstars.
Like the Pistons, the Pelicans don't have much else to add to the deal for the Mavericks if they decide to ask for more. Their only player they maintain the rights to is Edin Bavcic, the 56th overall pick in 2006, a player who played in three summer leagues, and hasn't been seen since. They also gave up their second-round pick in the trade that brought them Xavier Henry. Whomp.
The Philadelphia 76ers do not have their amnesty clause. Therefore, if they were to pick up Shawn Marion in a trade, they'd have to keep him. And for just one extra year at $9 million, it may not be a bad deal.
The 76ers' offseason is completely dependent on whether or not they re-sign Andrew Bynum. If they do it, they can do so with or without cap room due to the Larry Bird rights rule. Adding Shawn Marion in a trade would have no effect on the ordeal.
In this case, the 76ers would walk away with two draft picks (or package the two and move up), and a decent defender on the wings, and can free up Marion's contract for a 2014 offseason with only $19,315,364 in guaranteed money, currently.
Luckily, Philadelphia does have two second-round picks to dangle in front of the Mavericks if they do demand more for the small forward and pick.
Apparently this deal has already been reported. Nick Borges of ESPN reported that the Cavs were willing to take on the Marion contract, with the 13th pick, in exchange for the 19th, 31st and 33rd picks. As the draft comes a little closer though, I expect the Mavericks to settle for less.
If the Cavs want to keep their 19th pick, that makes a lot of sense, and they still have a couple second-round picks to throw at the Mavericks, who apparently won't just take a Marion and pick straight swap.
However, in my humble opinion, they should. The Cavs would then hold on to Marion for the year, and would likely dump him in 2014 along with Varejao. The Mavericks would then hold onto $27,898,653 in salary, and a couple of European players to bring over at the time of their choosing.