The Dallas Mavericks, who have agreed to bring Jason Kidd back with a three-year, $25 million deal, are trying to work out a sign-and-trade with Toronto for Shawn Marion, CBSSports.com has learned.
The deal could provide an alternative for the Raptors to renouncing Marion's rights in a bid to clear cap space for its addition of Hedo Turkoglu. But sign-and-trades are particularly complicated, especially in this case, because Toronto is reluctant to take back salary, a person familiar with the situation said.
When the Raptors got a verbal agreement from Turkoglu, who reneged on a commitment to the Trail Blazers, it was contingent on Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo making several roster moves to make room for the five-year, $53 million contract Turkoglu is eligible to sign on Wednesday. The simplest scenario is to renounce the rights to Marion, Carlos Delfino, and Anthony Parker. But a sign-and-trade -- particularly for Marion, who still has some value -- also would be a palatable option as long as it doesn't complicate the Turkoglu signing. At this point, the source cautioned, the talks are stuck on the issue of how much salary Toronto would have to take back and the deal "may or may not happen."
UPDATE: Marion was among the highest-paid players in the league last season at $17.8 million. But like many free agents this summer, he's been forced to adjust his expectations for the level of interest in his services and the amount teams are willing to pay. The Knicks, for all their largesse and resources, wooed Kidd with -- sigh -- a two- or three-year offer at the mid-level exception of $5.6 million per. Kidd turned it down and stayed in Dallas. There has been a lot of talk about prized restricted free agents David Lee and Paul Millsap, but to this point, no offers to back it up.
Marion, 31, has gone from being a valued trade chip who was sent from Phoenix to Miami for Shaquille O'Neal, to a player whose expiring contract was more valuable than he was in heading to Toronto for Jermaine O'Neal. Now, he is not only running out of O'Neals, he is running out of options. Marion can only hope that interest from several contenders -- Cleveland also is believed to have interest -- could provide him a winning situation, if not a huge pay day. Given the environment, it is incomprehensible that Marion would get more than half of his 2008-09 salary in a sign-and-trade or on the open market.
UPDATE: If Toronto and Dallas work out a deal, Jerry Stackhouse almost certainly would be headed to Toronto because only $2 million of his $7 million salary for next season is guaranteed. Also, you should be following me on Twitter, because you could've found out about this story before I posted it. This news is like so-a-half-hour-ago.
UPDATE: A second person familiar with the situation said the Marion-to-Dallas scenario was being pushed by Mavs owner Mark Cuban and Marion's agent, Dan Fegan. Dallas, the person said, was trying to involve either Oklahoma City or Memphis as a third team to facilitate Toronto's need to clear cap space for Turkoglu.
UPDATE: While there is interest in Marion among several contenders seeking an agile transition player and 3-point shooter, his potential landing spots are limited to teams willing and able to pay him more than the mid-level exception of about $5.6 million -- unless that's all Fegan is able to get for him. That would appear to take a team like Cleveland out of the mix for Matrix.