Saturday , Feb , 09 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Shawn Marion Not Averse to Signing Long-term Deal with Miami Heat

Marion averaged 15.8 points and 9.9 rebounds in 47 games this season with the Suns, with career averages of 18.4 points and 10 rebounds, and can also defend just about anyone on the floor. He has a $17 million player option for next season, yet indicated that if he had to choose now, he’d lean toward staying in Miami.

"I’m here and I’m ready for a new start," Marion said. "I’m in it for the long haul."

Banks, in his fifth NBA campaign, averaged 5.2 points primarily as Steve Nash’s backup with the Suns this season. He’s only started 35 times since entering the league, and has rarely gotten the consistent minutes that all players crave.

But Riley suggested that Banks would get some sort of shot in Miami, which could lose Jason Williams to free agency after the season — assuming that Williams isn’t dealt somewhere first, which remains a possibility.

"I think it’s a big opportunity for me," Banks said. "I spent a year and a half in Phoenix, learning behind Steve Nash, and can’t wait to get the opportunity to get on the court." [Click here for more from Sports Illustrated.]