NBA: Another Veteran to Join LeBron in Cleveland [Details]
The Cleveland Cavaliers were already considered one of the favorites to win the Eastern Conference next year, but now the team looks even stronger with its latest signing. Veteran forward Shawn Marion has committed to sign with the Cavs later this month, according to reports.
Despite the fact that Cleveland can only offer him a minimum deal, the chance to play with LeBron James and immediately compete for an NBA Championship is what swayed Marion’s decision. Cleveland is restricted to offering Marion a minimum salary of $1.4 million this season after using all of its cap resources and exceptions elsewhere. He was also being pursued by the Indiana Pacers, who would’ve been able to pay him more but most likely would not be in championship contention next season.
The 36-year-old Marion spent the past five seasons with the Dallas Mavericks and helped them win the first championship in franchise history in 2011, defeating LeBron and the Miami Heat in six games, as a key role player. He was also a four-time all-star with the Phoenix Suns.
Marion gives the Cavs a strong replacement for LeBron off the bench. A versatile forward, he can guard players at four positions and is a smart offensive player. He and LeBron can also be on the floor at the same time when Cleveland decides to go small.
With the impending trade for Kevin Love and now the signing of Marion, Cleveland looks like the front-runner to represent the East in the NBA Finals next year.