Shawn Marion Rumors: Latest Buzz, Speculation Surrounding Veteran Free Agent

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 20, 2014

Getty Images

Updates from Sunday, Aug. 17

Cavaliers head coach David Blatt confirmed Shawn Marion will play for Cleveland next season (via David Pick of Eurobasket.com):

Earlier, ESPN's Marc Stein reported Marion has made a decision on which team he will play for this season:

Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 12

Stein notes who is leading the race to obtain Marion's services:

Updates from Monday, Aug. 11

The Indiana Pacers met with Marion on Monday, according to Stein:

Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 6

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports provides the latest update on which team has the edge for Marion between the Cavaliers and Pacers:

But the Pacers may have an ace up their sleeve:

Yet it may be too late: 

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Updates from Monday, Aug. 4

Stein added the latest in Marion's free agency:

Updates from Wednesday, July 23

Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram provides an update from Marion:

Updates from Tuesday, July 22

Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer reports on one team currently not considering signing Marion this summer:

Original Text

As the number of teams with salary-cap space dwindles and the rumor mill slows from a cascade to a trickle, veteran free agents begin feeling the financial pinch. Add Shawn Marion to that ever-growing list of players.    

The 36-year-old forward, who likely came into free agency hoping for one last payday, has seen his market dry up following the Mavericks' signing of Chandler Parsons. While the Mavs have not completely closed the door on bringing him back, all sides seem to acknowledge Marion's time in Dallas has ended.

"Now, his value in the marketplace is much higher than what we have right now, and so I would categorize that as a long long long long long shot," Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson recently said, per The Dallas Morning News.

Marion spent the last five seasons in Dallas. He averaged 10.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game on 48.2 percent shooting last season, which saw him noticeably slip on both ends of the floor.

The Mavericks were 7.8 points per 100 possessions better when Marion was on the bench. They were forced to play him extended minutes due to their lack of perimeter defensive talent, but this summer signaled a changing of the guard. 

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 4:  Head coach Rick Carlisle of the Dallas Mavericks and teammate Shawn Marion #0 hug as Marion leaves the court in the final minutes against the San Antonio Spurs in Game Seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2014
Chris Covatta/Getty Images

Parsons, 25, signed a three-year, $46 million deal to come over from the Houston Rockets. Dallas also added veteran forwards Richard Jefferson and Rashard Lewis on minimum contracts. Jefferson and Lewis should bring more floor spacing to a roster that already ranked among the league's highest-octane attacks.

The Mavericks signed the pair under the assumption that Marion would command more than a veteran's minimum contract. Fellow mainstay Vince Carter signed a three-year deal with the Memphis Grizzlies, and Marion was as integral a part of the rotation as Carter—if not more so.

However, as the Marion market continues to be tepid, it's possible that a smart team swoops in and lands him on a veteran's minimum deal. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune floated the Bulls as a possible destination. Teams like the Rockets, Heat and Clippers, all in need of perimeter defensive help, may also check in if the price continues to dip.

While probably not worth a long-term deal at this point, Marion can still be effective in limited minutes. Playing someone approaching the twilight of his career nearly 30 minutes a night is never typically a smart move. If his next team can give him a 20-minute cap, perhaps Marion can find a little more in the reserve on a night-to-night basis.

Working in his favor is a suddenly somewhat frisky three-point shot. Marion knocked down 35.8 percent of his threes last year, mostly of the corner variety, while taking the most he has in more than a half decade. He'll never be an above-average floor spacer, but merely forcing opponents to respect him is a plus.

He's also still a wildly effective player close to the basket, making 64.7 percent of his shots in the restricted area. 

Considering the buyer's market, it's a surprise Marion hasn't been scooped up yet. Smart veterans with two-way effectiveness are a rare breed once late July comes around. Even if he's more limited at this point in his career, the team that walks away with Marion probably won't regret its decision.

All statistics provided by NBA.com

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter

slash iconYour sports. Delivered.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!