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Marion Wants Out

The summer of trade demands continues, with Shawn Marion adding his name to the list of all-star caliber players (Kobe Bryant, Jermaine O'Neal, Andrei Kirilenko) who have asked out since the season ended.

Marion voiced his displeasure with the Phoenix Suns organization in interviews with the Arizona Republic and The Sporting News, and mentioned that he'd like to be dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers so that he can team with Bryant.

I think the Suns and Lakers should do it. The Lakers need to do something to appease Bryant somehow and they really need to move Lamar Odom, who I think will excel away from Los Angeles (when you think about all of Odom's struggles with the Clippers early in his career, and how his best season in the NBA was his lone season in Miami, you realize that this guy really needs a change of city, not just scenery).

But more important, Marion was correct when he compared his relationship with the Suns as "a bad marriage."

If you ask Marion, he will tell you how underrated he is, how he doesn't get the love he deserves, how Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire get too much credit and he doesn't get enough for the Suns winning the Pacific Division the past three seasons (He campaigned for the MVP when Nash won his second award in 2006). He has a valid argument. He's averaged 18.6 points and 10 rebounds throughout his career, made four all-star teams. And, during the season in which Stoudemire missed all but three games and Nash won his second MVP, he averaged career-highs of 21.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2 steals. Those are Kevin Garnett-like numbers - from a 6-foot-7 power forward.

People tend to forget that Marion was an all-star before Nash came to town, and was able to put up big numbers playing alongside Stephon Marbury (no easy task). He's an excellent defender and is a much better scorer and rebounder than Kirilenko. He can be productive without the ball in his hands, which actually works to his detriment in the eyes of some because Marion - b.k.a. The Matrix - is viewed as a great complimentary player, but certainly not a franchise guy.

But Marion's shameless self promotion, occasional playoff disappearing acts, insecurities and the petty jealousy of Stoudemire, which was covered in Jack MacCallum's book on the Suns, "Seven Seconds or Less," have obviously grated the brass in Phoenix.

He has been mentioned in trade rumors the past two off-seasons, and the Suns tried with all their might to push him on the Boston Celtics to get Garnett, but fortunately for the Celtics, Marion and his handlers quashed the deal by threatening to opt out of his contract next summer. Now Garnett is in Boston and the Suns have a seriously disgruntled four-time all-star forward. And rightfully so. "I'm tired of hearing my name in trades," he told the Arizona Republic. "It's time to move on."

Marion is also upset that the Suns haven't offered him a contract extension (Marion reportedly asked for $60 million over three years).

Marion added that he'd like to stay in Phoenix for his entire career, but those days are all but done - especially after Allen Iverson and Garnett were dealt in the past 10 months.

Bryant leads the league with the longest tenure (11 seasons) with the same team, followed by Tim Duncan (10), Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki (9). You know what's crazy - Marion and Kirilenko are the only players from the 1999 draft class who remain with the teams that drafted them.

No player from the terrible draft class of 2000 is with the team that drafted him. The class of 1999 might be next.

By Michael Lee  |  September 26, 2007; 10:33 AM ET
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Next: Back at it


Thanks for that update Mike. What happens if Marion is not traded to the Lakers, which team will likely need him/want him/pay him?

Posted by: rgz | September 26, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Shawn Marion for Mel Turpin and the conditional 4th round pick we got from Memphis (in the JCN trade)

Posted by: CN | September 26, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I know the Wizards aren't going after Marion, but might there be a role for them as a third team in the deal where they can get rid of a bad contract and get there hands on the Suns trade exception?

Posted by: George Templeton | September 26, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I did this trade on espn that can be the best thing for Wiz and Suns if it happens in reality. Marion + Raja Bell to Wizards and AD + Antawn Jamison + Diminic Mcquire. We can actually save more money this way for Arenas' cash in next summer.

Posted by: fire starter | September 26, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Would Phoenix ever consider a Marion for AJ trade. The salaries work but there is a two year age difference. One reason Phoenix may consider it is they are in the same position as the Wizards. They will need to re-up Amare for presumably a max contract like we will for Gil. Therefore they may see AJs expiring contract as a way to free up some $$$$. Would the Wizards consider the trade especially with Marion asking for an additional 3 years at $20M per? I don't believe the Matrix puts us over the top but I believe everybody would acknowledge obtaining Shawn would be an upgrade from where we are today. Would EG go to Abe and ask him to go over the luzury cap next year by trading for Shawn this year and re-up'ing Gil next summer? While Marion would like to go to LA would Phoenix trade him to a conference rival even if they get Odom and a throw in? My own feelings are that the Wizards should enter the ring but its not my money that's in play. What is everybody elses Thoughts/comments?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

or they could just trade jamison for marion straight up. why take on more salary and dump a young guy when you don't have to. plus, AD is our only proven back-up PG.

jamison for marion. we should do it.

Posted by: anon | September 26, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

My bad...I thought I remembered hearing Amares' contract was coming due. Apparently he is signed through 2010.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

From an objective standpoint think Marion could thrive in this offense and provides some of the defense we don't get from AJ.


AJ for Marion Straight is not the marketable move that the Suns will look for. I don't see it getting done.

Personally, I don't want to give up AJ, anyhow. Let the big dog help try and finish what he helped to start here in DC.

Posted by: WaPoLIveFan16 | September 26, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I think Michael Redd (drafted 43 by Milwaukee in 2000) is the lone player from that class to remain with the team that drafted him.

Posted by: manmade | September 26, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I think the Suns would pull the trigger on AJ for Marion straight up. The reason being is AJ's contract is up after this year and the Suns do not want to be over the salary cap, EVER. The Suns do desperately need a big man, if you guys threw in a big who was cheap that would make it work.

Posted by: Matt | September 26, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Redd was drafted by the Sonics

Posted by: MANTAR | September 26, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

In 2003-04 Marion was a big star with the 29-53 Suns. He got paid $10,067,750 that year. Steve Nash made $5,750,000 for the 52-30 Mavericks.

Here are the salaries for Marion and Nash since then.

04-05- Marion 12,330,000 Nash 8,750.000
05-06- Marion 13,700,000 Nash 9,625,000
06-07- Marion 15,070,000 Nash 10,500,00
07-08- Marion 16,440,000 Nash 11,375,000
08-09- Marion 17,180,000 Nash 12, 250,000
If my arithmetic is correct, Marion will make a cool $26,537,750 more than Nash for those six years. And Marion is the guy who feels "disrespected"? Give me a break.

I have not heard one peep from Nash complaining about the fact that he has been seriously underpaid, or demanding a trade if he doesn't get a big extension (Marion apparently wants $20,0000,000 a year) two years before his contract expires.

It is not a slam dunk as to who would mesh best with Nash and a Sun team without Marion, but I think Kirilenko might be the best bet.

Posted by: wstander | September 26, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't trading Kirilenko put the Suns into luxury tax territory in the later years of his contract. I would think that would kill any Suns-Jazz trade.

Posted by: George Templeton | September 26, 2007 11:14 PM | Report abuse

i don't think AJ is anywhere near Marion's caliber.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2007 3:12 AM | Report abuse

AK47 for Marion, is about the ONLY deal that can happen at this point. They are both puting their trade value down by complaining. They need to make the swap and the suns can just sell off more assests down the line to avoid the Lux tax

Posted by: steve | September 27, 2007 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Trade Marion to Sactown for Artest and Abdul-Rahim. Phoenix gets a defensive force who can play bigger forwards AND a soft post player and they love their soft post players.

Marion gets to be in a smaller pond and play with Bibby and KMartin.

If Phoenix needs a reason to pick up AJ other than getting rid of that salary, then we won't be able to get him. Trading AJ for Marion is a no-brainer from DC's side.

Posted by: Monte | September 27, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I doubt Marion gets traded, just like I doubt Kobe gets traded. The Suns are gearing up to win a title right now, and they need Marion to do it. They aren't going to get equal value for him in a trade so they're better off doing what they've been doing for the past few years, when he's regularly popped off in interviews about how he feels under-appreciated and under-recognized ... nothing. When the ball tips up at the beginning of the season, he'll come out to play like he always does.

Posted by: kalorama | September 28, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

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