I never fully trust when a player at his exit interview says, “I want to stay with Team X” because everything changes when we’re a few months removed from the season, another team expresses their love them backs it up with a big fat check.
But I tend to believe it when Shawn Marion is talking about staying in Dallas.
He is a free agent this summer and everyone knows he’s not going to make the $9.7 million he made last season, but at that reduced rate might he be interested in Miami or chasing another ring as a role player?
Maybe. But he’d rather stay in Dallas. Here is what Marion said at his exit interview, as transcribed by Bryan Gutierrez MavsOutsider.com, when asked what it would take to bring him back to Dallas next season.
“Not too much. This is a great city, the fans here are amazing, even media guys are awesome. It’s a great environment here. Mark and Donnie have built an amazing franchise here. It’s like a family here. I’m going to weigh my options out and see what it’s going to take for me to get another championship ring. I would love to add to the ring I have. I’m going to retire here, regardless. I’m going to be a Dallas local here in the coming years. I’m going to make this my home.”
He was vague when asked about Miami but was clear a ring mattered a lot more than money (something generally more true of veterans):
“Oh yeah, by far. It’s not about money right now. I’ve made a lot of money in my career. I’ve been truly been blessed. I’m not taking any of this for granted. I’ve just got to weigh my options. Of course, we’re close here, not too far. We’ve got a lot of guys here that are free agents again. It’s going to be interesting. We’re going to see what’s out there and what’s available. I’ve just got to wait it out.”
“I’m looking at maybe two, a couple of more (years in the NBA). I think I’m going to have to call it after that. I think it’ll be time. It’s not all about basketball. I have a son now. A lot of it is predicated on him.”
Dallas will bring back Dirk Nowitzki and much of this same roster — a good team that won 49 games and pushed the Spurs to seven games. But the Mavs are a couple steps away from contender status in the West and they are not likely to get what they need this summer, with this free agent class.
Which means Marion might need to give serious thought if a Miami or Oklahoma City or Clippers or someone else calls with an offer.
But I’d bet on him slipping on a Mavs jersey next year. They want him back, and it is really where he wants to be.