COMMENTARY | As we inch closer to the NBA trade deadline, I'm left with one heart-wrenching thought: Shawn Marion could be gone.
He's been a model of consistency in Dallas since he was acquired from Toronto in 2009. The Matrix may not be averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds a night, but he's an X-Factor for the Dallas Mavericks when they need a defensive presence.
But at age 35, it's time to start looking to the future for a small forward. One name that has come up in recent news has been Evan Turner, the former No. 2 overall pick from the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Mavs are reportedly interested in a deal that sends Marion to Philly for Turner.
If the Mavs can make this happen, make it happen.
Here's the reality: Turner isn't a guy that can bring home a championship. Dallas needs another superstar, and while Turner is a solid role player, this won't make the Mavs instant title contenders.
But it's time for the Mavs to start stockpiling the roster with younger pieces. Marion's salary in 2014 is set at just over $9 million, which is why he's considered valuable. Turner's rookie deal expires after the season, making him a restricted free agent.
It's clear the Sixers are looking toward the future. Why else would they trade Jrue Holiday for a rookie center who might not play this year in Nerlens Noel? Philadelphia wants to build around Michael Carter-Williams and Noel, and not Turner. Plus, Marion's deal clears that $9 million-plus off the books and Philly could be in play during in free agency.
Not to mention, Marion can still play. Philadelphia will get quality production from Marion when he's in the lineup.
As for the Mavs, this is ideal. They would get someone with plenty of potential, hasn't hit the prime of his career, and he would come $3 million cheaper. Turner could also be a viable third scoring option to complement Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis at 17 points per game. Although he doesn't shoot well from the outside, it helps to have someone driving to the basket.
There's only one problem with this, and that's the lack of draft picks Dallas has at its disposal, which isn't many. Philadelphia would more than likely want a draft pick out of this deal, and trading away its leading scorer for just an aging small forward and his contract may not be enough.
Dallas would need to send a first-round pick, unless the Sixers are willing to take on a swap of salaries. Then it's a win-win. Obviously, there are better possible deals that can be done. But if the Mavs can make this happen and continue their youth movement, go for it.
They're not getting any younger.
Danny Webster is a Yahoo Contributor for the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Cowboys, as well as the Sports Editor for UNLV's student newspaper, The Rebel Yell. Reach him on Twitter @DannyWebster21.
- Sports & Recreation
- Dallas Mavericks
- Shawn Marion
- Evan Turner
- Philadelphia 76ers