Dallas Gets Marion for 5 Years
What had been a tricky deal between Dallas, who is apparently in BUY! BUY! BUY! mode, and Toronto, who is attempting to maximize its Hedo Turkoglu cushion, turned into a four-way ballroom dance. Orlando reportedly jumped in to get a trade exception for the loss of Hedo and Memphis will provide its usual role as facilitator.
Beyond the five-year, $39 million deal the Mavericks have allegedly promised Marion, a 30-year-old wing, Dallas also ended up taking back Kris Humphries' two-year, $6.4 million contract. But the team vanquished the Devean George ($1.6 million, expiring), Jerry Stackhouse (only $2 million guaranteed) and Antoine Wright ($1.9 million, expiring) deals.
In the end, not counting the $3 million I'm sure Dallas had to send Memphis to get "Moneybags" Michael Heisley to play ball, Dallas will pay Marion and Humphries only about $4 million more than the team would have owed the outgoing players.
ESPN.com reports the Raptors have preserved their midlevel exception and the ability to give Carlos Delfino a contract. Orlando will get a substantial trade exception, which would allow the Magic to make an unbalanced trade over the next year.
I wonder how much attention Memphis' role (a familiar one) will draw. Owner Heisley admitted last month that his disaster-of-a-franchse actually made money last year, precisely because of this type of deal, wherein the Grizzlies -- who never have too much salary of their own -- facilitate a trade for a fee. The fee is usually $3 million, the maximum amount allowed to be included in any trade. Memphis' reputation on this point is so great you wonder whether, if this becomes two or three separate trades in official NBA parlance, Dallas would find a way to funnel more money to Memphis through Orlando and Toronto.
Maybe you think of Heisley's maneuvering as smart; just an owner finding a market inefficiency and exploiting it for gain. I see it as an owner who'd rather preserve his bottom line than field anything resembling a competitive team.