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Suns send rookie Kendall Marshall to the D-League

Nov 29, 2012, 6:30 PM EDT

Thomas Robinson, Kendall Marshall

The Phoenix Suns have assigned Kendall Marshall to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League, according to a team release.

Marshall was the 13th overall pick in this year’s draft, but has been unable to crack the rotation with Goran Dragic and Sebastian Telfair being more legitimate options while the team’s season is still worth fighting for.

After the Suns were dropped by 40 in Detroit on Wednesday is when Marshall received the news, which he’s trying his best to take as a positive.

From Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic:

“I’m trying to look at it as a positive – a time to get better, get reps up and stay in shape,” Marshall said. “I don’t know if anybody thinks of this as a possibility coming out of college but, for some people, it’s part of the process and everybody has to take a different path.”

“They want me to keep up my conditioning, as well as getting game time,” Marshall said of what Suns General Manager Lance Blanks told him Wednesday night. “They think this will be good for me. Other than tonight, the team hasn’t been too bad. Sebastian and Goran have been playing well so there won’t be many minutes as of right now. So to stay in game shape and get some reps, they thought that would be the best thing for me to do.”

Marshall is going to say all the right things here, and the reality is, he needs to work on developing his game to get it to where he can hang at the NBA level. Having seen some of the drills that player development coach Lindsay Hunter has Marshall running through before games on the main floor at the US Airways Center, I can tell you that he’s going to need much more than that to be able to play in an NBA rotation consistently.

The D-League has a bad reputation among fans, likely because the majority of teams are in extremely small markets, and the league isn’t marketed at all, really, so no one sees the games.

The new partnership with YouTube may change that over time, but fans’ perceptions aside, it’s a solid place for young players like Marshall who aren’t quite NBA-ready to work on their game and develop those skills.

  1. rj2323 - Nov 29, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    What a waste of a pick

    • nbascreed - Nov 29, 2012 at 8:07 PM

      This comment illustrates exactly why the NBA is missing the boat with the NBDL. They should require every team to have their own D-League team where THEIR players can go to run their stuff. Kendall Marshall would’ve been sent there out of the gate with detailed plans and goals (and measures against those goals) and the understanding that it may be 2-3 years before he gets his shot at rotation with the Suns. As currently constituted both fans and more importantly PLAYERS look at this as some sort of demotion when hw shouldn’t been in the NBA in the first place.

      I like to think I know basketball and there are 4 stages to getting development:
      1. Recognizing your weaknesses (e.g. Man, I’ve got to develop a go-to crossover)
      2. Practicing the mechanics on your own (e.g. cross overs on chairs, cones, etc)
      3. Practicing the moves in game like situations (e.g. 1:1 or in scrimmages)
      4. Using the move successfully and unsuccessfully in A GAME and going back to number 2.

      I think Perry Jones and Jeremy Lamb have the potential to be above average NBA players. How much sooner could they develop if the OKC had their own d-league team where those guys were running all OKC stuff, practicing the OKC way BUT had the luxury to play 40 minutes a night against other quality comp in the d-league. I’ve been on the floor in pregame and I’m sorry but windsprints, 3on3 and shooting drills for guys out of the rotation do NOT replace playing.

      MLB has it right in this regard.

      • borderline1988 - Nov 29, 2012 at 9:17 PM

        I disagree. It’s rare to see a player who can’t crack an NBA rotation in his first 2 years become a starter in the league. D-league or no d-league. On a good team or bad one.
        Even to become a decent rotation player…of course there are exceptions, but it’s really unlikely.
        That’s why the D-League thing will never really work. Rookies who have the ability to become a starter will always be on the NBA team getting time.

    • 00maltliquor - Nov 30, 2012 at 4:08 AM

      Yeah, say that in 3 years when Marshall is in the top 5 ast. leaders. All he needs is PT. He’ll be just fine.

  2. dko83 - Nov 29, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    I thought this guy might have been the next great pure point guard.. looks like I would be very wrong.

  3. blueintown - Nov 29, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Absolutely phenomenal college playmaker that lacks the skill set and physical attributes to excel at the pro level.

  4. sunsbolts7 - Nov 29, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    We’re not even a quarter of the way through his rookie year and people are writing him off and calling this a bad pick. I remember a certain point guard drafted by the Suns back in ’96 who hardly saw court time his rookie season. He eventually won 2 MVP awards.

    • dko83 - Nov 29, 2012 at 8:57 PM

      Well said.

    • 00maltliquor - Nov 30, 2012 at 4:11 AM

      There we go! Right on sunsbolts7

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