Should the Mavericks trade Shawn Marion?

Should the Mavericks trade Shawn Marion?

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(Total votes: 1,873)

YES
NO

Cap space, picks more valuable now

Wade By Jeff Wade
ESPNDallas.com
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Shawn Marion has pretty much been the Mavs' best all-around player this season. And yet trading him most likely won't yield the type of return that makes Dallas tangibly better than keeping him right now.

So why trade the person playing better ball than anyone else on your squad right now? Because you're better off not having his $9.3 million on the books this summer as you make another run at bringing in a big free agent than you are trying to persuade a Dwight Howard-type superstar to use up the team's remaining salary cap space on only him (see the Deron Williams scenario).

If the Mavericks were still in the playoff hunt, I could understand the desire to make your run and then hope to move him later. But the Mavericks have zero margin for error if they are to make the playoffs. This season's squad has been drowning in a sea of error for 50 games, so a 180-degree turn seems pretty unlikely. Instead, the next eight days should be focused on how to be better prepared for the offseason.

There are still a lot of moving parts in determining how much cap space the Mavs will have to work with this summer, but they know that Dirk Nowitzki and Marion represent a combined $32 million. When you start adding up smaller salaries and cap holds, you can see how your financial flexibility really needs to be a lot more flexible to convince a guy this is the place to be.

I suspect Marion can net you a draft pick and an expiring contract in the right three-team trade. He's EXTREMELY valuable to a team with its eye on the prize. And the sad truth is that cap space and draft picks are more valuable to the club right now than keeping your best rebounder, defender and offthe-ball movement player.

Had Dirk been healthy all year, this would be a far different scenario. But he wasn't. And so parting with another great piece from the team's most glorious run ever is where it's at. If the Mavericks can assure themselves of getting even more flexibility by moving Marion, they have to take advantage of the opportunity.

Why the rush to trade Matrix?

MacMahon By Tim MacMahon
ESPNDallas.com
Archive

The Dallas Mavericks have plenty of dry powder. They don't have enough players.

They definitely don't need to dump Shawn Marion just for the sake of creating more salary cap space.

That wouldn't increase their odds of winning the Dwight Howard sweepstakes this summer. If anything, it'd make it an even longer shot by weakening what could be Howard's supporting cast.

If the Mavs can get good value for Marion, by all means, go for it. That would mean getting a reasonably priced, talented, young player or two.

Good luck with that before the Feb. 21 trade deadline. There simply doesn't seem to be a fit with a contender, which is the only type of team that would be interested in dealing for a 34-year-old forward who is due $9.3 million next season.

Memo to Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson: Make some calls to the Los Angeles Clippers to see if they'd be willing to part with dynamic young point guard Eric Bledsoe in a package to Marion. For the Mavs to give up Marion now, they'd have to get back a player who can be a foundation piece for years to come.

"Lots of teams show interest," Cuban said, responding to a question about the trade market for Marion and fellow productive vet Vince Carter. "It's a question of what the deal is. I've been very clear to those guys on our team that I'm not going to pull the trigger, we're not going to pull the trigger unless when they look at the deal, they'd say, 'All right, we understand.' We're not going to do it just to do it."

Why would they? What's the rush to get rid of Marion?

It'd be one thing if you could guarantee that the Mavs could use that money to find a better fit for their roster this summer. That's far from a certainty, considering Marion's versatility, production (11.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG), defensive ability, toughness and character.

Plus, Marion's trade value should increase after this season. It's a simple case of NBA economics. He'll be worth more as an expiring contract than he is with a year and a half left on his deal.

If the Mavs need to move Marion this summer -- say, perhaps, to re-sign O.J. Mayo after successfully recruiting Howard -- it shouldn't be a problem to move him.

But there shouldn't be any rush to move Marion right now.

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Ben & Skin: Mavs trade talk

A Ben & Skin discussion on the Mavericks' trade possibilities turns into a discussion about why the Mavs need Dwight Howard.