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Kendall Marshall looking to prove he belongs during Summer League with Suns

Jul 10, 2013, 10:26 PM EDT

Kendall Marshall AP

PHOENIX — Kendall Marshall was selected by the Suns with the 13th overall pick in last summer’s draft, but a chance to take the reigns as the team’s starting point guard has been far from guaranteed due to a combination of his need to develop, along with the constant personnel additions the team has made to shore up that position.

The Suns went out and got Goran Dragic in free agency the same summer Marshall was drafted, and now, ahead of Marshall’s second season, the team used a late first round pick on a guard in Archie Goodwin, and traded for a dynamic one that will likely play starter’s minutes in the deal that sent Jared Dudley out of town and brought Eric Bledsoe to Phoenix.

While Marshall is excited by the additions in talent, he wants to make sure that he remains a part of his team’s future plans — something he made clear when asked after practice on Tuesday what he’s looking to get out of the Summer League experience.

“First of all winning, but my second goal is to kind of prove that I can be a contributor on this team,” Marshall said. “I’ve been in prove-it mode since I got here, I think. With them bringing in [Goran Dragic] last year, bringing [Eric Bledsoe] in this year — they’re two great guys, I’m very excited to play with them. But at the same time, I want to prove that I can play with them and be on the court with them.”

New head coach Jeff Hornacek is planning an uptempo attack for the Suns’ offense this season, and given that speed isn’t one of Marshall’s assets, it’s worth wondering where he might fit in. But Hornacek is on Marshall’s side at this early stage of things, and believes he’ll be able to use his second-year player in different ways that play to his strengths.

“I like what he does in pick-and-roll situations,” Hornacek said of Marshall. “He’s not maybe the type of guy that’s going to fly around the court and penetrate and put pressure on the defense that way, but he’s a great passer in that when he gets into drag actions and pick-and-rolls, he can hit those rollers and make those extra passes, and those guys can put the pressure on the defense.”

“It doesn’t matter who’s going to be here,” Hornacek said, referring to the upcoming addition of Bledsoe. “We can put guys at different positions. He’ll have his opportunities.”

As for Marshall, he doesn’t seem the slightest bit concerned about the rest of the players who will be vying for minutes at his position. He’s exhibiting a positive outlook, and is only thinking about ways he can improve in order to earn his team’s trust.

“At the end of the day, you can only control what you do,” Marshall said. “And all I can control is how hard I work, so that’s all I’m worried about.”

  1. loubearkane - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    Who’s part of the Suns future besides Marshall & Bledsoe? Morris twins?

  2. sunsation3413 - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Marshall belongs….in the D League.

  3. oasis511 - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    Where did my comment go? I said that Marshall combines Steve Nash’s lack of athleticism with Rajon Rondo’s lack of a jumpshot. He played 9 games in the D-League and only shot 31%.

  4. Jorge Lancerio - Jul 11, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    I really hope this guy can do something with his career. He was so bad last year. I feel bad for the Suns and what they’ve become.

  5. fnc111 - Jul 11, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Suns suck … But they know what they’re doing in getting Bledsoe. Let him show off his ability while they win 10 games all season.

    • bigmeechy74 - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:59 AM

      It’s better to suck then to barely make the playoffs. Next year’s draft is going to be great

  6. 00maltliquor - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:03 AM

    Everyone dumping on this kid Marshall will be eating their words within 3 years, guaranteed. He’s probably a late bloomer, like Dragic and Nash were.

    • dopekidz83 - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:24 AM

      He seems like a good kid, but comparing him to Nash and Dragic is a bit much seeing as he lacks Dragic’s athleticism and Nash’s ability to shoot. He can be a serviceable backup IF he finds a shot this season.

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