Marion, who had a dismal 2008-09 campaign by his standards, should see his numbers rise across the board this season as he plays alongside Jason Kidd, who isn’t the same as Steve Nash but will surely learn to find his new teammate in the right spots very quickly. He won’t play like he did from 2001 to 2008, when he was a perennial top-five fantasy player, but there is little reason to believe that being back in the states, in Dallas, will give a bit of refreshing wind in Marion’s sails.
Playing alongside Dirk Nowitzki could prove tricky, since they are both power forwards, though Marion plays just as well as a small forward, but the good news is that they are both versatile players who will give defenders matchup problems all season long.
- Marion will get more touches, shots and better three-point looks than he did last season, as a result of playing with Kidd and Nowitzki. Expect somewhere around 15 points, 9 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1 block a night. He won’t be a top-three pick again, especially as he enters the upcoming season at 31 years old, but putting him in the top 20 of your draft lists shouldn’t be too far of a reach.
- Kidd will likely benefit by handing out more assists to the slashing and alley-oopable Marion. His turnovers may see a slight increase if too many of his passes to a cutting Marion get picked off, but this should be negligible.
- Nowitzki probably won’t benefit or be hurt too much by Marion’s presence on the team. Marion is a player who is effective without ever needing the ball in his hands, so Nowitzki’s offensive game shouldn’t be too different. While Marion will take more shots than any of the players the Mavs look to be unloading, Nowitzki could be handing out another assist or so a night to his new teammate. His shots will likely drop back to around 17 or 18 per night, which is where that figure has hovered around until he took 20 shots per game last season, but this will be evened out by higher shooting percentages.
- Josh Howard will likely see his struggles from last season continue and even deepen this year with the presence of Marion. Howard is probably the one player on the Mavericks’ current roster whose style of play is most similar to Marion’s. He’ll have to find his shots and spots a little more now.