Free agent forward Shawn Marion has agreed to join LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to a national report.
Marion, 36, reportedly had narrowed his options to the Cavs and Indiana Pacers. On Sunday, ESPN reported he chose Cleveland.
Marion spent the previous five seasons as the starting small forward with the Dallas Mavericks. He averaged 10.4 and 6.5 rebounds last season and is still considered one of the NBA’s top wing defenders.
He is entering his 16th season and has spent time with the Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors along with the Mavericks. Marion was a key member of the Suns when current Cavs general manager David Griffin held various roles in the front office in Phoenix.
Griffin and the Cavs, including James, made at least one recruiting pitch to Marion in Cleveland. Marion also held a face-to-face meeting with Pacers president Larry Bird last week.
"What I came away with was he’s undecided with where he wants to play and what he wants to do," Bird said of the meeting with Marion. "But he does want to play for a contender."
The Cavs are waiting to complete a trade involving No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves. According to multiple reports, the Cavs will send Wiggins and second-year forward Anthony Bennett to the Timberwolves for star forward Kevin Love. The trade is expected to be official by the end of the month.
Ohio-based basketball writer Mike Robinson of SB Nation tweeted on Aug. 7: "Look for Shawn Marion to sign with the Cavaliers with Kevin Love in the fold."
According to the ESPN report, the Cavs can only offer Marion a minimum salary of $1.4 million this season. The opportunity to play with James, Love and Kyrie Irving and contend for a championship greatly swayed Marion’s decision to join the Cavs, ESPN reported its sources as saying.
Marion reportedly informed the Cavs of his commitment to join the organization this weekend.