Shawn Marion turned down more money - and the Indiana Pacers - for LeBron James and a realistic shot at winning an NBA title.
The free agent has agreed to join the Cleveland Cavaliers for the veteran minimum, ESPN reported on Sunday.
This is the opposite of shocking news. The Marion-to-Cavs rumors have been out there for several weeks. This pairing makes more sense for "The Matrix" then joining Indiana even though the Pacers could offer more money and a larger role following Paul George's injury.
Marion, 36, met recently face-to-face with Indiana. Based on that discussion and the situation, Pacers president Larry Bird recognized his side was the underdog. During a news conference on Tuesday Bird said, "What I came away with was he's undecided with where he wants to play and what he wants to do. But he does want to play for a contender."
Without George, the Pacers will struggle to make the playoffs.
James a four-time league MVP, makes any team a contender.
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Cleveland is expected to acquire All-Star power forward Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves this month. Combined with James and Kyrie Irving, adding Love arguably makes the Cavaliers favorites in the Eastern Conference. However, frontcourt depth is needed. Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson are the other primary interior options.
Marion, spent the past five seasons with the Mavericks, averaged 10.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 32 minutes in 76 last season. He won an NBA championship with Dallas in 2011.