There is undeniably trade interest in Shawn Marion as sources close to the process say that the Cleveland Cavaliers, for starters, indeed covet the Dallas Mavericks forward in a draft-day deal.
Yet sources insisted to ESPNDallas.com that the Mavericks — as of Monday — are not looking to move Marion. And if that changes this week in connection with Thursday’s draft, Dallas must go directly to Marion and ask him to opt into the final season of contract, which does give the 35-year-old some measure of input into his fate.
“Not a single discussion,” owner Mark Cuban told ESPNDallas.com last week.
Marion must decide by Friday — one day after the draft — if he wants to opt in for next season at $9.32 million or become a free agent July 1. Marion and the Mavs would have to send a letter to the league before July 1 if a decision is made in conjunction with a trade-week trade.
To this point, though, sources say Dallas has not discussed any potential trades with Marion despite various media reports in recent days about the Mavericks shedding Marion’s contract.
The reality is that the Mavericks’ only incentive to trade Marion this week is if they’re certain they need extra salary-cap space immediately because they know they’ve got a legit shot at signing Dwight Howard away from the Los Angeles Lakers. And Dallas is unlikely to get a real handle on its Dwight chances until after July 1, when it’s believed Mark Cuban and Co. will be on the short list of teams granted a face-to-face audience with Howard to make a recruiting pitch.
Chris Paul is the Mavs’ other dream target, but the Clippers’ hiring of Doc Rivers has essentially clinched that Paul will re-sign with L.A. on a five-year max deal at the first opportunity.
One more note on Marion: If Dallas does decide to move the versatile forward, he has a 15-percent trade kicker in his contract worth $1,397,519. That amount would have to be paid by the team that acquires Marion because his current contract was signed before the NBA’s new labor agreement went into effect in December 2011. The team that trades the player is responsible for paying the trade kicker in the new collective bargaining agreement if the contract was signed from December 2011 forward.