Mavs' Marion Plans To Skip Opt-Out

The Mavs have worked to persuade Shawn Marion that the exercising of his ETO and the security of a wink-wink return worth three years and $18 million is the right play. But ... 'We think Shawn is going to stand pat,' a Mavs source says. 'Which is his right.' So Trix will get his money ... and probably, his terrific Mavs career might be nearing its end.

On draft night, Dirk Nowitzki talked very frankly about the future of championship teammate Shawn Marion and the possibility he'll be leaving Dallas, in one form or another.

"I think we'll cross that bridge if we get there,'' he said. "If Dwight really says he'd love to be here then that's something we have to address then. As of now, I don't know if we have to address that. I've loved playing with all my championship teammates. We had a great team and great chemistry. I was sad seeing all of them go. It would be the same if we parted ways with ‘Trix. We've been through a lot together. We're the same age, came into the league together. We've seen a lot together and obviously we won the ring together."

The way we've figure it, Trix doesn't have to go. A simple formula: If Marion were to opt out and leaves the Dallas Mavericks, that adds over $8.8 mil in cap space (they gain $9,316,796 but are reduced by an another $490,180 worth of empty roster slot charge.

If the Mavs then have a plan to re-sign Marion -- and they did -- as long as his new starting salary is less than $6.5-mil-ish, they should have room for a max deal for Dwight Howard, too.

By the way: If they got Trix' new deal down below $6 mil, then there would be room for a cap hold for the rights to Brendan Wright, something we know the Mavs want to have.

A Mavs source says the club has attempted to persuade Marion to buy into this plan. One person close to the negotiations tells that in this NBA climate, a three-year deal is superior to a one-year deal worth $9.32 million.

But Marion and agent Dan Fegan apparently aren't buying that.

Our guess was if there was to be an "opt out and re-sign" plan formulated, Marion's salary would be something in the three-years three-years (the max years he can get due to the Over-36 Rule) and $5-to-$6 million per range, for a total of $15-to-$18 mil.

But assuming the June 29 window passes, Marion will become trade bait. A sign-and-trade involving Dwight, with whom the Mavs have a Tuesday meeting set up in LA (featuring Cuban and Dirk)? A contingency deal already arranged with Cleveland, as has speculation? Ammunition in Rondo talks, part of's exclusive story?

Marion has earned his money. And along with that, he's earned a hero's farewell -- and a farewell seems to be what all parties are bracing for.

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