Marion's Long-Term Future in Miami Is Bleak

Word out of Miami is that Shawn Marion has decided to not opt out of next year's contract with the Heat. That's $17.8 million of annual salary. In the weird kind of salary cap twist that I only barely understand, this now means he's likely to be around long-term. Ira Winderman with the breakdown: ↵
↵⇥While bypassing the opt-out would leave Marion under contract for 2008-09, on the final year of his contract, it also would cast doubts on the forward's presence with the Heat in the long run. ↵⇥
↵⇥
↵⇥Marion had hoped to negotiate a long-term extension, in the $60 million range, a package that would have been easier to arrange under salary-cap rules had he opted out by Tuesday and then agreed to a new deal in the offseason, similar to the move made last summer by New Jersey Nets guard Vince Carter. ↵
↵ ↵So Marion might well be on the move again. I'm not saying that anyone should leave that much cash on the table, and yet if Marion always wanted to be loved, fit in, play his game and get the recognition it deserved, this certainly isn't a positive development. I'm hardly one to side with Riley, but the economic realities facing Marion are pretty stark: He's overpaid, and is going to have to take a pay cut wherever he goes next. Why not take his lumps now and ensure a future with an up-and-coming Heat sqaud? ↵
↵
↵No one's ever going to actively resent Marion for going for his, or trying to get the best deal he can. But his stock as a player, which depends so much on anchoring a cohesive unit with his dynamic take on the little things, isn't looking so hot these days. Mostly because, more than ever, Marion himself seems to not get what conditions he requires to thrive.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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