Cleveland, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Free-agent forward Shawn Marion will play alongside LeBron James next season as he committed to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Sources said Marion informed the Cavaliers this weekend that he intends to sign with them this month, despite the fact that they can only offer him a minimum deal.
The chance to play with James and immediately compete for a championship convinced Marion to pick the Cavaliers over the Indiana Pacers, who intensified their pursuit of the veteran forward recently.
Pacers president Larry Bird invited Marion to Indianapolis earlier this week for a face-to-face recruiting pitch over dinner. The Pacers are in desperate need of veteran help on the wing after the season-ending compound leg fracture suffered by star swingman Paul George on Aug. 1.
The Pacers had more money to offer Marion after they were granted a $5.3 million disabled player exception by the league in the wake of George’s season-ending injury suffered on Team USA duty.
A week before his Indiana trip, Marion traveled to Cleveland to meet with Cavaliers general manager David Griffin and new coach David Blatt.
Marion and Griffin have a longstanding relationship dating to their days together with the Phoenix Suns, during which the 36-year-old made four trips to the All-Star Game.
Marion spent the past five seasons with the Mavs and helped them win the first championship in franchise history in 2011 as a key role player who guarded players at four positions.