News Column

Shawn Marion Is Joining the Cleveland Cavaliers

August 18, 2014

By Sam Amick, @sam_amick, USA TODAY Sports

With LeBron James back in the fold, the rich keep getting richer in Cleveland.

Shawn Marion became the latest player to join the Cleveland Cavaliers, as the free agent small forward committed Sunday to join the championship pursuit that began anew when James decided to return to his home state last month.

A person with knowledge of his decision confirmed he will join the Cavaliers but spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because an announcement had not been made.

Marion was considering the Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Clippers but will instead add his experience and versatility to this Cavaliers team that -- talented as it was -- was short on playoff experience.

Yet with the help of James' recruiting, the Cavs went to work fixing that problem in securing free agency commitments from James' former Heat teammates Mike Miller and James Jones.

Their best addition since James signed, forward Kevin Love, had no playoff experience in six seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves. But he'll be a tremendous co-star when the trade between the Cavs and Timberwolves can be executed Aug. 23.

Enter Marion, a 36-year-old who has been in the playoffs in 10 of his 15 seasons and is hoping to finish what he started with Cavaliers general manager David Griffin so many years ago. Marion, who won a championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011, was drafted ninth overall out of UNLV by the Phoenix Suns front office that included Griffin in 1999.

Hardly at the levels of yesteryear, Marion continues to produce at these late stages of his career. He started 76 of 82 games and averaged 10.4 points and 6.5 rebounds a game last season for the Mavericks, who went 49-33 before a seven-game first-round loss to the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs.

Marion is prioritizing a chance to win another championship over chasing a bigger payday, as the Cavs can give him only a one-year, $1.4 million deal that is the veteran's minimum.

The next question for the Cavs is whether they can add Ray Allen to the mix. The free agent guard, formerly of the Heat, remains undecided on whether he will retire, and it is widely expected if he returns that it will be with the Cavaliers. ESPN.com first reported that Marion had decided to sign with the Cavaliers.

Original headline: Cavaliers adding Marion to mix



Source: Copyright 2014 USA TODAY


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