It’s improbable, considering Marion’s public trade demand hurt the Suns chances of trading, because now every team in the league will low-ball Steve Kerr knowing that he HAS to make a move. But, if I’m Mullin, I’ll make it happen. He’s already made the commitment to the uptempo, offensive-oriented basketball. Might as well try to outscore everyone. Marion is a 20 and 10 guy when at his best.
Are there down sides to signing Marion? Of course.
*He’s not good at creating shots for himself or others. This is especially not healthy come clutch time, and it means he’ll have to play alongside Baron, the team’s best creator, to be his most productive. Which means if Baron gets hurt, Marion may not be as valuable.
BUT the Warriors season relies on Baron’s health anyway. And while the Warriors would love to have five players who can create, they need what Marion brings more than what he doesn’t.
* Like PG Baron Davis, he can terminate his contract after next year. He wants an extension for $60 million over three years, at least. So, any team that gets him will have to break bread to keep him.
BUT the Warriors don’t have to commit that money yet. A one-year try out isn’t the worst thing. They can acquire him, see how he fits, then negotiate next offseason. If he walks, you’ve only lost Harrington and Pietrus or whoever. Worst-case scenario, you have $16 million erased from the cap. If he fits perfectly, pay him. Marion knows he needs to play with a great PG, which slims his options. He may end up loving it here, and he’s cheaper than Garnett would’ve been. And isn’t that what they got rid of Richardson for, the financial flexibility to get a four-time All-Star like Shawn Marion?
*He’d be taking minutes from Brandan Wright, who could develop into the next Shawn Marion, at a much cheaper price. Wright certainly has the physical tools that puts him in the category of a Shawn Marion.
BUT he could also turn out to be Stromile Swift. Who wants to wait and hope a guy can develop when you have the chance to nab a proven player?
The only thing he can’t do well is defend big, bruising power forwards — though he’d be better at it than Al Harrington — and shoot from 3-point range (with that form of his, I’m surprised he shoots 34 percent from three for his career). He runs the floor as well as anyone in the league. He finishes. He rebounds. He defends.
With Kevin Garnett now in Beantown, is there a better forward for the Warriors right now? Who embodies everything Nellie ball is about, at least from a big man perspective, more than Marion?