Sources told ESPN.com that Marion informed the Cavaliers this weekend that he intends to sign with them this month, despite the fact that Cleveland can only offer him a minimum deal.
A week before the trip to Indiana, Shawn Marion traveled to Cleveland to meet with Cav’s general manager David Griffin and new coach David Blatt. Marion and Griffin have a relationship dating back to their days together with the Phoenix Suns, during which the 36-year-old made four trips to the All-Star Game.
Shawn Marion couldn’t turn down the chance to play with LeBron James and immediately compete for a championship, sources said. This is what clinched Marion’s decision to choose Cleveland in the face of the pursuit by theIndiana Pacers.
Pacers president Larry Bird invited Marion to Indianapolis earlier this week for a face-to-face recruiting pitch, with Indiana in desperate need of veteran help on the wing after the season-ending compound leg fracture suffered by star Paul George on Aug. 1.
Larry Bird said this during a press conference on Tuesday regarding the Shawn Marion race,
"“What I came away with was he’s undecided with where he wants to play and what he wants to do. But he does want to play for a contender.”"
The Cavaliers have been considered to be the front-runners to sign Shawn Marion since it emerged that they’re set to complete a trade for Kevin Love. Cleveland is restricted to offering Marion a minimum salary of $1.4 million this season after using all of its cap resources and exceptions elsewhere.
Sources say that Marion had been telling teams for weeks that he hoped to wind up with a championship contender if he left the Dallas Mavericks in free agency.