: With Shawn Marion and the Heat expected to resume contract talks shortly, several teams -- including the Clippers and Golden State -- have expressed interest in acquiring him. The issue, though, will be whether any offers will be more appealing than keeping Marion long-term or allowing his deal to expire next summer to sign Utah's Carlos Boozer.
Though Pat Riley said he wants to keep Marion, Miami's first offer wasn't close to Marion's wishes.
The Warriors like Marion, 30, and likely would deal Al Harrington (due $9.2 million and $10.2 million over the next two years), but appear reluctant to include restricted free agent center Andris Biedrins in a sign-and-trade. Point guard Monta Ellis told the Warriors that Miami is among teams he would love to be traded to, but Golden State hasn't been receptive. A Marion-Warriors scenario might need a third team.
The Clippers like Marion (due $17.8 million in 2008-09) and were willing to do a sign-and-trade involving Elton Brand and Marion after it became clear Brand wouldn't re-sign. But Brand was headed to Philadelphia by then, and the Clippers now lack appealing assets to acquire Marion.
Toronto pursued Marion before the draft, but the Heat declined a package including T.J. Ford (then dealt to Indiana) and wasn't interested in Jermaine O'Neal (who went to Toronto in that trade and has a big contract). Chicago likes Marion and likely would be willing to trade Larry Hughes and another piece, but Hughes' contract is unappealing (two years left at $12.8 million and $13.6 million).The most logical hypothetical would be Marion to the Lakers for Lamar Odom (one year left at $14.5 million) and Chris Mihm ($2.5 million), but the Lakers first said publicly they're keeping Odom, and now, according to the Sacramento Bee, have offered Odom for Sacramento's Ron Artest.
A Marion/Artest trade would hurt Miami because the Heat would have to assume the last two years of either Kenny Thomas' or Shareef Abdur-Rahim's bloated contracts.
With sentiment growing that Mario Chalmers could become a starting point guard eventually, the Heat has less incentive to assume large long-term contracts such as Kirk Hinrich's (four years, $36.5 million left).
So Miami's most affordable point-guard trade options include Memphis' Kyle Lowry (one year, $1.6 million), New Orleans' Mike James (two years, $12.5 million), Houston's Steve Francis (one year, $2.6 million) or Bobby Jackson (one year, $6 million), and Seattle's Luke Ridnour (two years, $13 million), with New York's Stephon Marbury or Indiana's Jamaal Tinsley in play if they're bought out.