A brain-hurting trade of significant proportions came down the pipe on Wednesday when it was announced that the Dallas Mavericks acquired mercurial forward Shawn Marion in a four-team trade that involved the Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic and Memphis Grizzlies. I believe it went down at the expansion franchise annual summer BBQ, after many plastic red cups had been emptied.
Approximately 140 players changed teams in the deal, give or take, but Matrix is the frustrating focal point.
Entering last season I admitted I had no idea what to make of Marion, who could have been a top 10 pick or shit the bed. Guess which he did?
Marion finished 52nd on Basketball Monster’s player rankings for 2008-09, so perhaps I’m being harsh about how bad he was. Or maybe I just drafted him among the top 15 picks in two leagues and got burned. I gambled, I lost … boo hoo.
Anyway, Marion’s 8.5 rebounds, 1.3, 1.0 blocks, .485 FG% and .796 FT% accounted for his value. He averaged just 12 points per game and made only 10 3-pointers in an injury-shortened season.
Now Marion shifts to Dallas where he will be the fourth offensive option. And strangely enough, I’m not sure it hurts his value all that much. In fact, it may even help.
While Marion was playing with the Phoenix Suns during his years of peak value, he was an afterthought. What I mean by that is that the Suns weren’t running plays for him and he was getting his points and rebounds in the flow of the game. He was arguably their best player while simultaneously being their fourth option, if that makes any sense.
That was mostly why he wanted out of Phoenix and stints in Miami and Toronto proved that he’s just not cut out to have an offense run FOR him. He’s better off playing alongside Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry and Josh Howard because it will allow him to play alongside great players, which may have been what made him great once upon a time.
I’d be stunned if Marion gets anywhere near his Phoenix-era numbers. Those days are likely long behind him. Definitely not making him a top 15 (or top 30) pick this season. But an improvement over last season’s disasterous season is pretty likely.
As far as the other players involved in the deal: Jerry Stackhouse winds up with Memphis, Greg Buckner, Kris Humphries and Nathan Jawai landed in Dallas and Antoine Wright and Devean George go to Toronto.
There is a lot of nonsense in that paragraph but the one player who might have a fantasy impact is Antoine Wright. It has been reported that Anthony Parker is leaving Toronto for Cleveland, which gives Wright the inside track on starting for the Raptors alongside Jose Calderon, Hedo Turkoglu, Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani.
Wright’s per minute numbers aren’t anything to get excited about. But a starting gig and 30 minutes per night could result in about one steal and one 3-pointer per game with potential for double-digit scoring.
Wright is still a tremendously flawed player and is only a deep-league option.