According to multiple reports, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks are discussing a trade that would see veteran small forward Shawn Marion and the number 13 overall pick sent to Cleveland in exchange for the number 19 overall pick. Despite the rumors, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been persistent in saying that his franchise is not looking to trade Marion.
However, it is conceivable that Dallas would be looking to deal their top draft pick in order to clear up cap room. With Dirk Nowitzki nearing the end of his career, Cuban and his front office are looking to go all in and chase one last title At 13, Dallas would be locked into a rookie salary that would hurt their chances of signing a max free agent this summer. And at nineteen, Dallas would avoid reaching for a foreign talent like Greek forward Giannis Adteokunbo, who they could also stash away for a few seasons and avoid the immediate salary cap hit altogether. Possible free agent targets for the Mavericks include center Dwight Howard and point guard Chris Paul.
For the Cavaliers, this would give them two lottery picks instead of one without giving up anything of greater value. If Marion ends up being included in a potential deal, he would provide a short-term improvement over Alonzo Gee at small forward while also becoming a trade chip due to his expiring contract. He is set to make 9.3 million next season.
This would be the second time in two years that they Cavaliers traded with the Mavericks. Last year, the Mavericks selected center Tyler Zeller with the 17th pick and subsequently traded Zeller to Cleveland for a package of picks.