In 2011, Shawn Marion‘s defense on LeBron James was one of the many factors that helped the Dallas Mavericks win their first NBA championship over the heavily favored Miami Heat. Now, Marion’s veteran leadership and still formidable defense might be adding depth to LeBron’s new team.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Cleveland Cavaliers have met with free agent Shawn Marion. After adding Mike Miller using the room exception, the only thing Cleveland could offer the Matrix at this point would be the minimum. However, since the offers haven’t been rolling in and Marion’s free agency strategy until now has just been “chilling,” the prospect of playing for another contender makes sense.
It’s been an awfully busy summer for the Cavs, who traded Jarrett Jack, Tyler Zeller and Sergey Karasev in a three-team trade to try and free up max cap room for LeBron James. Once the Prodigal Son announced his return back to Cleveland, the Cavaliers began to scramble to assemble a championship-caliber team around LeBron and have been in that mode ever since.
So many “Wiggins is gone” signs RT @ESPNSteinLine ESPN sources say Shawn Marion is in Cleveland today on recruiting visit with Cavaliers
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) August 4, 2014
The Cavs have already added two of LeBron’s friends and three-point specialists in Mike Miller and James Jones. Cleveland also appears to be the frontrunner in the Kevin Love sweepstakes and have relented on their off limits stance with No. 1 draft pick Andrew Wiggins. A deal for Love can’t be made until Aug. 23 since Wiggins was signed on Jul. 23, but according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Minnesota Timberwolves plan on trading their three-time All-Star by the end of the month.
Adding Shawn Marion to the mix would seriously strengthen Cleveland’s perimeter defense and bench depth with an experienced veteran who could seriously come in handy in a playoff series. The Matrix averaged 10.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 48 percent from the floor and 35.8 percent from downtown last season with the Mavs. Acquiring that kind of player – especially if a Kevin Love trade goes through – would make Cleveland a serious title contender.