Shawn Marion to the Cavs? LeBron James no doubt would be thrilled, and Cleveland would be loaded up like never before to make a title run before the clock ticks down to July 1, 2010. But a person directly involved in the situation said Tuesday that Cleveland and Miami "haven't had a trade discussion of any kind in months."
The proposed trade reported by Yahoo! Sports would've sent Anderson Varejao and Wally Szczerbiak to Miami for Marion, whose $17.2 million deal expires after the season. Szczerbiak's $13 million also is expiring, but the Cavs would clear Varejao's $6.2 million player option off the books next summer. It's an intriguing proposal for both teams, although an agent who would be involved in such a transaction had no indication Tuesday that anything was imminent.
The Heat clearly are not smitten with the idea of maxing out Marion, who would instantly make the Cavs a lethal threat to the Celtics' repeat hopes. Cleveland could view it as a rental, or could extend Marion after the season if they believe LBJ would approve. The Cavs already have plenty of cap space in 2010 to re-sign LeBron and a top-tier running mate such as Chris Bosh. But clearing Varejao's contract would make Cleveland a player in free agency next summer, when Carlos Boozer (player option) and Kobe Bryant (early termination) could be free. Miami would be in great cap shape, too, assuming Varejao declines his player option.
The interesting question for the Cavs is whether or not they should gamble when the team is 20-4 and seemingly capable of going toe-to-toe with Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals. Cavs GM Danny Ferry believes the roster is talented enough to contend as-is, but Marion would be a difference maker. And while Varejao does all the little things -- including flopping to draw offensive fouls -- Marion wouldn't be a liability on the defensive end because he's versatile enough to guard the post and perimeter.