The biggest news item in the hoops world today is Shawn Marion's declaration that it's time for him to move on from the Phoenix Suns. The all-world fantasy stats machine is rumored to be part of a blockbuster deal with the LA Lakers for injury prone, but uber-talented big man Lamar Odom.
I have no idea why two division rivals who have faced each other for two straight years in the Western Conference Playoffs would be interested in taking even the slightest chance of improving the other team's roster at the expense of their own. But putting aside the fact that the Suns and Lakers are Pacific Division foes, from a hoops standpoint a Marion-Odom swap actually makes a lot of sense. Marion would be a better fit alongside Kobe "field goal attempt" Bryant than Odom because he doesn't need the ball in his hands to make a huge impact. You can't watch a Suns game without some announcer declaring that "the Suns don't run any plays for Marion" as if it's some groundbreaking, unknown news item at least once or twice. With his impressive ball handling abilities Odom could take some pressure of Nash, unlike Marion who I can't say I've ever witnessed take more than 3 dribbles in a row. Still, I'd be pretty surprised if a blockbuster deal between the Lakers and Suns actually materialized simply because Lakers' GM Mitch Kupchak only rates slightly below TWolves GM Kevin McHale in the cluelessness department.
Marion's a better actor than Keanu Reeves too.
I can't remember seeing or hearing either Nellie or Mullin show any interest or praise Marion's game, but I'd love to see The Matrix finishing Boom Dizzle alley-oops at the Roaracle Arena and shutting down top notch scorers. This versatile forward and iron-man is good for nearly 20 ppg, 10 rpb, 2 thefts, and 1.5 swats a game (the numbers don't lie!). If you've ever played fantasy hoops you're probably used to seeing him get picked several rounds before his more heralded teammates who couldn't defend Adonal Foyle if he had one hand tied behind his back, Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire. With Marion's speed, athleticism, craftiness, uncanny finishing ability, and unselfishness to guard the oppositions best player who wouldn't want him in a Warrior jersey? To read up on Marion definitely check out GSoM friend Henry Abbott's Marion compilation Cooked by the Sun: Meet Shawn Marion over at ESPN's TrueHoop and in particular The Marion Paradox from The Rising Suns.
Make the jump to see your daily armchair GM trade proposal that'll never happen!
One way the Warriors could bring the Matrix to the Bay is by shipping Monta Ellis, Al Harrington, Stephane Lasme, and Patrick O'Bryant to the Suns for Marion. (Did you honestly think this perennial All-Star with a few years still left in his prime would come cheap?) Then in part B of the deal use the $10 million trade exception garnered from the JRich deal to pick up the nearly $4 million a year Marcus Banks (correct me in the comments if this 2 step trade process doesn't work under the NBA's cryptic CBA rules). The Warriors would be able to trot out a roster that would look something like this:
PG: Baron Davis/ Marcus Banks/ Troy Hudson
SG: Kelenna Azubuike/ Marco Belinelli/ Troy Hudson
SF: Stephen Jackson/ Matt Barnes/ Kelenna Azubuike
PF: Shawn Marion/ Matt Barnes/ Brandan Wright
C: Andris Biedrins/ Shawn Marion/ Brandan Wright
* Maybe even that Pietrus fellow will be along for the 2k7-2k8 ride!
The Suns could avoid making a deal with the devil (the Lakers) and arguably in Monta and Al net a package that makes them deeper and stronger than any Odom deal. Also the luxury tax conscious Suns would be able to cut free agent bust Marcus Banks from their payroll. Who knows? Maybe Nellie can make Marcus worth the bank.
The Warriors still wouldn't be able to bang with the likes of the Carlos Boozers and Tim Duncans of the Wild, Wild, West, but a frontline of Jax-Matrix-Andris is still an impressive defensive trio. Probably the biggest loss from the JRich trade was Jason's great finishing ability in the transition game and rebounding. Marion immediately fills both those losses and actually helps turn the Warriors into a solid rebounding team. It'd be fun to see how Biedrins fares down low over the course of an entire season with a rebounding and defensive force to pair up with too. The financials are obviously complicated (if you thought dealing with one high priced star in Baron Davis during contract negotiations made for nervous times, imagine having 2 players of that caliber and contract).
Does bringing the Matrix to the Bay make sense? What type of deals can you put together that make sense for both the Warriors and Suns? (Use ESPN's Trade Machine)
Also see OptionZero's diary Rumor: Shawn Marion (Update: to LA for Odom?)