The rich get richer. According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, Shawn Marion has given a verbal commitment to the Cleveland Cavaliers and will join them for the 2014-15 season. Stein broke the news via Twitter:
ESPN sources say Shawn Marion has committed this weekend to sign with the Cavaliers
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 17, 2014
What does this mean for the Cavaliers? The 6-foot-7 Marion isn’t the same player he was when he earned the nickname “The Matrix” back in Phoenix, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still contribute. He’ll provide some much needed depth at the small forward position and could produce a freaky perimeter defensive tandem next to LeBron James.
Marion played with the Dallas Mavericks over the past five seasons and while his per-game contributions were on a steady decline, he was still able to put up 10.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game in 31.7 minutes.
I wouldn’t expect Marion to play those kinds of minutes, especially with James/Love taking the lion’s share of the forward court time, but that’s actually a good thing — a player who’s logged almost 40,000 regular season minutes (38,996) could fare better in shorter spurts.
Another major issue here is that Marion is another playoff-tested veteran who won’t shy from the big moments. This Cavaliers team is being built to win right now and that’s what a move like this signals. The Cavs are going all-in and expect nothing but the championship in 2014-15.
We’re looking at a playoff rotation like this:
That’s not even considering the possibility that Ray Allen could come calling soon. This Cavs team was dangerous — though not that deep — but the addition of Marion will help there. If they bring in Allen and a dependable backup point guard (sorry, John Lucas III), they’ll be the undisputed Eastern Conference favorites.