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Report: Celtics like Kendall Marshall but can’t really afford him

Nov 4, 2013, 3:56 PM EDT

Kendall Marshall AP

All you need to know about how Phoenix felt about Kendall Marshall is that last summer they traded for Eric Bledsoe and kept Goran Dragic. Of, if that wasn’t enough, they threw him in to match salaries in the Marcin Gortat trade, then the Wizards promptly waived him.

Because he’s got playmaking skills, he becomes a potential free agent project for another team, and the Celtics could be that team… except for the price, reports the Boston Globe (at tip Eye on Basketball).

Marshall is a pass-first point guard whose style never fit with the Suns, but he could serve as a solid backup for a building team. The Celtics would likely be interested in Marshall if his salary didn’t push them above the luxury tax and make them a repeat offender, something ownership desperately wants to avoid during this rebuilding phase.

You’re going to see a lot of this going forward: Teams are very wary of the tax line and the repeater tax, so if they can do something to get under it they will. (Watch the Clippers make a salary-move this year like dumping Willie Green to get under the line, for example.)

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Marshall does show playmaking skills, the problem is he can’t shoot (37.1 percent last season) and he doesn’t defend all that well. Maybe on a minimum salary at the end of the bench a team would take a gamble, but it’s not worth going over the tax line for him.

  1. connorchew - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    just not athletic enough for todays nba game.

  2. JHathwell - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    pretty amazing miscalculation, draft-wise. They must have worked him out against that same chair that Yi Jianlan schooled at the combine.

  3. genericcommenter - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    This seems to be the year of one-and-done 1st Round Picks. How many 1st round picks don’t make it to opening night of season 2 in general, let alone multiples in the same draft class?

  4. wowwowbad - Nov 5, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    After last season, Kendall Marshall still ask for more than minimum?

  5. jjordannba - Nov 5, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    I grew up around this guy in Woodbridge, Virginia. He used to school us up at the local Boys and Girls Club. His dad coached there and used to go real hard on him.

    I remember we were playing pickup and his dad didnt think he was playing serious enough and then he got crossed up, his dad called him over and punched him in the chest. This was like 4 or 5 years ago. I thought that was crazy, his dad also used to tell us he would give any of us $100 if we could beat Kendall 1 on 1. It never happened.

    But anyways I never viewed him as anything more than just a really good local talent. He never impressed me too much. He wasn’t quick never dunked much, never lit anybody up, wasn’t flashy so I was shocked when I heard he was going to UNC, even more shocked when he got the opportunity to start and incredibly shocked when he became one of the best pgs in nation. I hope he can get back on a team. But like I said, I never saw it anyway. We have a lot of ballers still in this area that grew up around him that I feel are more talented.

  6. unfly - Nov 5, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    Pass first? I live in AZ and Kendall Marshall is pass-only.

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