On the day Dirk Nowitzki signed a three-year, $25 million free-agent contract to continue his storied career with the Dallas Mavericks, another piece of the franchise’s only championship is weighing his options.
Shawn Marion has spent the past five seasons with the Mavs, starting at small forward in 308 of the 361 games. But he has yet to find a team to play for next season.
Marion wouldn’t elaborate on his plans other than to say he’s getting to know his first-born, a 3-month-old son named Shawn.
“I’m way heavily into my son right now,” Marion said. “That’s all I really care about, spending time with him and letting him know who I am and getting accustomed to being around him.”
Marion, 36, a four-time All-Star, realizes that he’s nearing the end of a splendid career. Marion, however, won’t allow himself to make any snap decisions.
Marion applauded the Mavericks’ trade with the New York Knicks for center Tyson Chandler to shore up their defense. Chandler was the starting center when the Mavs captured the 2011 NBA title.
He also lauded the signing of restricted free agent Chandler Parsons, who takes over Marion’s small forward position.
Asked if he was contemplating retirement, Marion said: “I’m just weighing all my options with my son. He’s a big major part of me in my life right now.”
While Marion ponders his future, word comes out that Nowitzki’s three-year deal was for $5 million less than what was initially reported, allowing the Mavericks even more flexibility to add support to their roster.
Nowitzki, a 16-year veteran, has a player option before the final season of his contract and will earn a tad over $8 million next year. Meanwhile, Parsons will collect $14.7 million in the first season of a three-year, $46 million deal.
Marion knows he’ll have to take a sizable reduction from the $9.3 million he earned last year no matter where he winds up playing.
There were rumblings when free agency first began that the Miami Heat would make a strong pitch at acquiring Marion for another championship run. But that died down after LeBron James went back to Cleveland.
“With all our guys, it’s what’s out there,” Donnie Nelson, the Mavs’ president of basketball operations, recently said. “It’s what are they willing to take to come back.
“It’s a free market that literally changes by the day. Those situations just have to pan out.”
The Mavericks have a $2.73 million exception available they have can offer Marion to be Parsons’ backup.