If you are looking for a free agent power forward to maybe add some depth or even help shoulder the load through some difficult injuries, then the Dallas Mavericks' Shawn Marion may be just what the doctor ordered. Over his last five games Marion has been playing above his average, putting up 17 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 1.2 blocks and 2.4 assists a game in this stretch.
Marion's recent elevated play has been a boon to the Mavericks but it also may spell the potential end of Marion's career. With the trade deadline coming up on Feb. 21, there have been rumors that the Mavericks may trade Marion and his $9.3 million salary he's due next year. If that happens, Marion is leaning strongly to retiring if he is sent to any team that is not contending for a title.
"If I'm going to get traded, they're going to tell me what's going on and where I'm going," the 14-year veteran said on Friday. "Because if I'm going to a (expletive) situation, I'm not going. It's just that simple.
"At this time, I'm too old to be trying to go through and be a, you know what I'm saying, not have a chance to do anything. I'm at a point where I want to be playing for something right now."
With this in mind, Marion still remains a viable start in deeper leagues. Especially for as long as he is with the Dallas Mavericks.
Other Free Agent Forwards of Interest:
Michael Beasley, Phoenix Suns: Beasley has underperformed to this point in the season but has shown signs of improvement lately. Over the last 11 games, Beasley has scored 10 or more points seven times, including four games with over 20 points. Of course there is the down games of his to contend with as well as Beaslie has scored nine or less in four of the past 10 games. Overall, Beasley remains inconsistent but worth a shot if you think he's going to get in his groove.
Taj Gibson, Jimmie Butler, Chicago Bulls: With the recent rash of injuries, both Gibson and Butler have been given opurtunities to add some vital minutes to their standard playing time. For Gibson, in the three games he's played since the injury to Joakim Noah, he's been averaging 15 points and 13 rebounds per game. Butler hasn’t shown quite the production as Gibson but he's earned a regular spot in the rotation whether there are injuries or not. He should be good for at least 11 points per game with five to seven rebounds. Both players are worth a shot but keep a firm eye on the injury reports as returning players could impact their playing minutes significantly.
James LeBeau is a contributor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
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