Cavs can only offer minimum deal to Shawn Marion but sources say chance to play with LeBron and play for a title trumped all other offers— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 17, 2014
Marion met with the Cavaliers about two weeks ago, and they've been seen as the frontrunners for his services. The Indiana Pacers could offer him more than the minimum, but not the opportunity to compete for a title this season. The Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat were also reportedly interested.
This is a big deal for Cleveland. While the Cavs hope that Kyrie Irving comes back from Team USA an improved defender, they only had two guys who are proven on that end of the floor -- LeBron James and Anderson Varejao. Marion can play small forward and power forward, and he can switch onto smaller players. With him in the lineup, James won't always have to guard the opponent's best scorer.
The Cavaliers are obviously loaded with talent, but it might take a bit of time for things to come together. Marion's the type of role player that can accelerate that process. He won't demand the ball and he won't get in anyone's way. At this point in his career, the 36-year-old knows what he's best at and wants to compete for the championship. While he won't average 32 minutes per game like he did last season, he'll still be a key component of the team. It's a smart signing for both parties.