Today Shawn Marion was granted his pass out of NBA purgatory.
In a complicated four-team trade, the Mavericks get Marion for what amounts to Antoine Wright, Devean George, Jerry Stackhouse, and cash.
For their spare parts they get Marion, a player who just two years ago was considered one of the best players in the league.
When properly motivated, Marion is potentially a 18/10/3 kind of player, one capable of defending four positions at an elite level.
When added to a Mavericks lineup that figures to consist of Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Dirk Nowitzki, and a combination of Erick Dampier and Marcin Gortat, Marion figures to fit right in and give the Mavericks an added element they have been sorely missing.
Marion brings his elite athleticism and defensive prowess to a team lacking in both. On the offensive end, Marion will fit right in with an up-tempo offense coordinated by Kidd. On the defensive end, he will give the Mavericks a true stopper who will likely guard the opposing team's best player during crunch time.
To the question of Marion's motivation, getting to play with Kidd and Nowitzki should be plenty. Add to that the security of a five-year, $30 million contract, and you have a lethal weapon that is now motivated to return to his status as one of the elite players in the league.
Add to this the Mavericks' Wednesday signing of defensive specialist Quinton Ross and the forthcoming acquisition of Gortat, and the Mavericks have made huge upgrades to the roster.
Owner Mark Cuban vowed to be proactive this offseason in improving the team now as opposed to waiting for the 2010 free agent bonanza that is expected next summer. The Mavericks have positioned themselves to be contenders this year and for at least the next three years (the length of Kidd's new contract).
Cuban said via his twitter account, "It's been a long day of looking at spreadsheets, reading NBA cap rules, and rubbing my eyes."
His long day will soon be paying huge dividends for his new championship-caliber Mavericks.