AUGUST 12TH: The Cavs are still in the lead for Marion even as Indiana continues to push for the 36-year-old, who met Monday with Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
AUGUST 6TH: Shawn Marion is leaning heavily toward signing with the Cavs, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter). Earlier today, Cleveland was considered merely an “intriguing” option for the forward, who was also being hotly pursued by the Pacers. Wojnarowski reports that Indiana has already moved on from Marion due to his interest in joining Cleveland.
Indiana could have offered Marion a greater role and more salary, assuming their disabled players exception request would have been approved by the league. However, the Pacers expectations are grim following Paul George‘s injury, and the return of LeBron James has made the Cavs a magnet for veteran free agents all summer. Chauncey Billups was the latest player to register interest in playing for Cleveland, and the team has already signed Mike Miller and James Jones.
Joining James has looked even more appealing in recent days, as momentum builds toward a rumored trade sending Kevin Love to Cleveland. If the Cavs gave up Andrew Wiggins in such a deal, Marion would alleviate some of the defensive concerns that scenario has raised. Marion will likely be a better shooter than Wiggins this season, although he wouldn’t create the same athletic dynamic that would have existed between James and the No. 1 pick.