If you haven't heard yet, Shawn Marion wants out of Phoenix and in to the Lakers.
Considering Marion has been whining for several years regarding his perceived lack of appreciation by the organization, this latest Marion trade rumor comes as no surprise.
Kobe's fervent determination to force the Lakers to make some kind of move...any move... might finally come to fruition.
That would be the only positive to come out of this deal for the Lakers. If the deal appeases Kobe, I am all for it.
The list of negatives is long however.
Marion for all his numbers and roto fantasy appeal is what I would call an exemplary role player. He's the best role player in the entire league. But he can't get his own shot, doesn't handle the ball well, and plays his best when running the fast break led by Steve Nash.
The problem is, the Lakers run a half court set that doesn't provide Marion the best chance to succeed. Without Nash throwing him lobs, how will Marion get his points?
He is not a good post up player, a skill almost required for any player in the triangle offense. He's not a good distributor, so putting him at the high post does no good. Remember Lamar Odom, the man rumored to be going to Phoenix was all of that. A good passer, a good post up player, and furthermore a good teammate.
Odom's numbers in November: 18.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 5.0 apg
(he got hurt in the 6th game of Dec. and was never the same)
Meanwhile Marion averaged 17.5ppg, 9.8rpg, 1.7 apg for the season. Pretty similar I'd say. Marion has the rebounding edge while Odom clearly is the better passer.
If Marion didn't like playing second fiddle in Phoenix, why does he think it will get better in LA with Kobe getting all the praise in wins, and the supporting cast receiving all the blame in losses?
Marion thinks learning the triangle will be no problem.
"People talk about the triangle offense all the time, like it is impossible," he said. "But it's an offense. Wherever you play, you have to learn the offense. It's not that complicated. You pass, you cut, you slash. Offense is offense. And I would love to play with Kobe."
Sounds very similar to what Gary Payton said before joining the Lakers... right before he couldn't learn the offense in the next two years.
Marion was allowed to freelance all over the court in Phoenix, slashing, cutting, and filling the lanes for Nash's passes. The triangle is structured. It's pass and cut to a certain spot. It has many options but in a sense is unimaginative compared to the Suns style.
How long before Marion becomes discontent playing in a system that doesn't fit his strengths?
As for the finances, Marion is the Suns highest paid player. He is due to make $16,440,000 this season. Odom is due to make $13,524,000. The deal would make sense for the Lakers if they could get rid of the Space Cadet and his salary of over $30 million for the next four years.
Since the Suns love to dump salary, taking on Vladimir Radmanovic wouldn't be a cost cutting move. It would guarantee that they get something out of Marion who becomes a free agent after the season.
For the Lakers, the move would free up salary cap space after this year but could mean losing Odom for nothing if Marion decides to test the free agent market. He could be asking for upwards of $20 million and will he help take the Lakers out of the first round?
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Great story on one of my all-time favorite Lakers Vlade Divac and the type of person he is. Vlade deserves to be not only in the Sacramento Kings Hall of Fame, but the NBA Hall of Fame. His numbers don't do him justice for the type of impact he's had all over the world.
Random Laker of the Day: Tony Smith