Shawn Marion will retire after this season, as he tells Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. The 36-year-old is on a one-year contract with the Cavaliers. The 16th-year veteran believes he could play three more seasons but instead prefers to spend more time with his 8-month-old son, who is his first child, as Marion explains to Coro. His desire to be closer to his son, who’s in Chicago, helped lead him to accept a minimum-salary offer from the Cavaliers, as Marion has said in the past, even though he could have netted more money elsewhere. Marion mulled retirement this summer, according to Coro, as his free agency stretched on for several weeks.
Marion’s defensive versatility has long been his calling card, but Cleveland hasn’t found as much use for him as other teams have in the past, in spite of the defensive shortcomings the Cavs have struggled with this season. Marion is averaging a career-low 22.8 minutes per game despite making 22 starts, and his 5.6 points per contest represents the first single-digit scoring average of his career.
The ninth overall pick of the 1999 NBA draft is a four-time All-Star selection who enjoyed his best days with the Suns, where he was a force on both ends of the floor and on the boards. He peaked with averages of 21.8 PPG and 11.8 rebounds per game in 2005/06, helping Phoenix to a second consecutive Western Conference Finals appearance. The Suns traded him to Miami in February 2008 in the deal that sent Shaquille O’Neal to Phoenix, and the Heat shipped Marion to Toronto a year later. Another trade that summer took him to Dallas, and Marion enjoyed a career renaissance with the Mavs, winning his only title in 2011.
Dallas sought to continue their partnership when his five-year deal worth almost $39.88MM expired this past summer, but the tug of his family drew him north, and surely the presence of LeBron James and Cleveland’s looming acquisition of Kevin Love helped influence his decision. Marion’s financial sacrifice this year makes more sense in the context of the greater than $133.488MM he’d already earned over the course of his career, according to Basketball-Reference. He’ll add this year’s $1,448,490 to that total.