Shawn Marion's stat line may not jump out at casual NBA fans as the second-best player on the Mavericks, but for those who have watched him over the last few seasons, it is clear that he is one of the more underrated players in the league.
Marion doesn't have the explosive scoring abilities he had when he was playing in Phoenix a decade ago, but he is so crafty around the rim that he still managed to put up over 12 points per game last season.
However, it is not his scoring alone that makes him valuable. Marion continues to be one of the elite defenders in the NBA.
Routinely, Marion is the one guarding the opposition's top player, and without him the Mavs would have been even worse defensively than they already were.
In addition to using his length and quickness to excel on defense, Marion is an elite rebounder. Not just an elite rebounder for a small forward, but an elite rebounder in general.
At 7.8 RPG, Marion led the Mavs last season in that category, beating out three 7-footers. Had he played enough games to qualify (Marion barely missed the mark at 67) he would have ranked in the NBA's top 30, with only Josh Smith, LeBron James and Kevin Durant beating him out at the small forward spot.
Although he is 35, Marion is still an essential part of the Mavericks' core. He will have to play well for the Mavs to contend in 2013-14.