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Lakers add a point guard, agree to deal with Kendall Marshall

Dec 19, 2013, 9:16 PM EDT

Kendall Marshall AP

Reeling from the latest injury to Kobe Bryant and with no healthy point guards able to return to action anytime soon, the Lakers signed a capable initiator of the offense from the D-League to bolster the team’s ever-eroding roster.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that L.A. has agreed to a deal with Kendall Marshall, who was selected with the 13th overall pick of the 2012 NBA draft by the Phoenix Suns.

Marshall was a project of a player when the Suns drafted him, and once the old regime was out and the team had Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe in place for the coming season, Marshall became expendable. He was part of the deal that sent Marcin Gortat to the Wizards in exchange for Emeka Okafor, but along with Shannon Brown was waived after the trade was completed.

With no other suitors lining up to sign him, Marshall wisely took his talents to the D-League, both to stay on teams’ radar and to stay ready in case an opportunity like this presented itself.

Marshall seemed ready to compete for a meaningful spot on the Suns’ roster heading into Summer League, and appeared to be in excellent shape and ready to play significant minutes running Jeff Hornacek’s high-speed offense. But he never got that chance.

Marshall has never been the most athletic player on the floor, but he possesses a high basketball IQ and has proven capable of knocking down open looks from three-point distance when the defense has chosen to let him shoot. His rookie season averages were so low that they’re not worth repeating, but as a ball-handler with excellent court vision, the Lakers made a nice pickup to plug a necessary short-term hole, especially for the price.

  1. money2long - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    “His rookie season averages were so low that they’re not worth repeating” still, different situations have different effects on people. and when it comes to a pass first player, the personnel around them will change things for that player. let’s see how this goes.

  2. stadix093 - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    Well if anyone can make a point look good, it’s Mike D. Hope this guy does well in the league.

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Dec 20, 2013 at 10:19 AM

      He’s John Wall with no athleticism. Elite court vision but a pretty bad shooter.

      No jump shot + no athleticism + court vision = uphill battle in the NBA. Wish him the best.

      • buckshowalter - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:19 AM

        This is an insult to John Wall. Marshall does not have the court vision of Wall and it is certainly not “elite.”

  3. blueintown - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    One of my all time favorite college players. A straight up magician. Hope he makes the best of this opportunity.

  4. doubledown44 - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    I thought it was strange that he was just hanging out in the D-League while all of these teams were looking for young point guards. I was waiting for the Knicks, Nets, Lakers or Bulls to grab him and I’m just surprised it took this long.

  5. thomaskouns - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    By all accounts, I nice hard-working young man.

    I hope he succeeds.

  6. hildezero - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    What happened with Okafor in the Suns?

    • money2long - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:51 PM


    • buckshowalter - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:31 AM

      He’s out with an injury but the original thought was he would not play at all this year because the suns were trying to “tank.” It will be interesting to see what happens when he’s healthy and the suns are in the playoff picture. Plumlee has been giving them quality minutes but a healthy Okafor should start over Plumlee. However, Plumless may continue to start if they fear messing with the team’s chemistry.

  7. 00maltliquor - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:37 PM


    • antistratfordian - Dec 20, 2013 at 1:12 AM


      Is there any mediocre PG signing that you don’t get super excited about?

      • 00maltliquor - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:34 AM

        If we signed either Mario Chalmers or Norris Cole.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        Heh. I know you’re just being sarcastic, but I’m going to take this opportunity to deride the basketball intelligence of Lakers fans anyway…

        Chalmers and Cole are exactly the types of tenacious, defensive minded PGs the Lakers desperately need (it’s a major plus that both of them are good three point shooters). Yet you exclaim to the heavens your excitement at acquiring total defensive liabilities like Sessions and Marshall – guys who have trouble either staying on one team for long, or staying out of the D-League.

        Hey, I guess Lakers fans deserve Mike D’Antoni – you two were made for each other.

      • money2long - Dec 20, 2013 at 12:17 PM

        epic response malt.. epic.

      • unxpexted1 - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:08 PM

        nah Anti, lakers need a point guard that can actually run an offense

      • antistratfordian - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:51 PM

        Yeah? I’ve been hearing that for three years. The Lakers went through two offensive minded PGs and the results were close to disastrous.

        How many times are the Lakers going to get shredded on the perimeter before you change your mind?

        What these Lakers really could use is a defensive PG who can hit threes at a high rate, and who can also create a little off the dribble – someone like Mario Chalmers. He’s playing the Kings tonight – last year against the Kings he made 10 threes. You don’t find many (or any) solid defensive point guards who have done that. But it’s something that would make D’Antoni salivate.

      • money2long - Dec 21, 2013 at 3:32 AM

        how do you say the lakers need to find a point guard of the caliber that you just said “you don’t find many of” ? smh.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 22, 2013 at 1:26 AM

        you’ve entirely missed the point.

      • money2long - Dec 22, 2013 at 2:19 AM

        no, u entirely screwed up, tried to make a witty comment and ended up looking foolish by failing to see your mistake. and won’t admit it.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 22, 2013 at 2:47 AM

        Uh, nope. Off base again. The dude say he would be excited about Ramon Sessions and Kendall Marshall and not excited about Mario Chalmers. I said this was typical Laker fan gibberish, and explained why a guy like Chalmers would be better for the Lakers over those guys.

        Then you jump in with some unrelated nonsense about something that we weren’t even talking about – as if we were talking about real-world possibilities. I wasn’t recommending that the Lakers get a player like Chalmers – I was only pointing out that Lakers fans don’t even know the types of players that they actually need.

      • money2long - Dec 22, 2013 at 2:13 PM

        blah blah blah. u messed up . u didn’t see ur screw up. bottom line is, u CAN’T suggest a team go looking for something that u claim isn’t hardly around. just tuck ur tail between ur legs anti, and keep it moving. u screwed up.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 23, 2013 at 3:02 PM

        Nope. I didn’t suggest that the team go looking for anyone – I suggested that the team’s fans start learning about the game.

  8. adoombray - Dec 20, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    In this day and age, people on the internet exaggerate like never before. Things like Epic, Legendary, Best ___ Ever, get tossed around on a daily basis. I know this. And I can unequivocably say Kendall Marshall has the ugliest jump shot I have ever seen. Watching him play for the Suns last year, he would look more terrified than the people in Paranormal Activity when he got the ball in wide open spaces. He got open looks all the time because there was no reason to ever guard him.

    I don’t care what easy-to-write nonsense goes around about old regimes and new regimes, a team doesnt drop a first round pick a year later after spending as much money as the Suns did on marketing him as the guy of the future unless he is terrible. That stuff about his 3 point shot is made up.

    Please understand Laker fans, you come across as a special kind of delusional by pumping this guy up. Shannon Brown is back out there for you guys too because nobody else wants him. Even that’s a better move than Kendall Marshall.

    • 00maltliquor - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:46 AM

      A Suns fan that’s calling Kendall Marshall’s J the ugliest they’ve ever seen…..where were you when they had Shawn Marion???

    • borderline1988 - Dec 20, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      Couldn’t have said it better. Kendall Marshall simply is not NBA quality. He’s not a very good shooter; where did that comment about his ability to knock down shots come from?

      He looked good in college when his starting lineup was, 98% of the time, way better than the opposing lineup. But in the NBA, his lack of athletiscm will get exposed every second he’s on the court. How can you properly play when the opposing PG is always faster, stronger, more athletic, and just as good as you are with the ball?

      There aren’t many guards in the NBA who can succeed with a total lack of athleticsm. Calderon and Nash come to mind, but they are both way, way better shooters, taller, and are in fact quicker than he is. Besides the fact that they are also just better overall.

  9. billtetley53 - Dec 20, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    I’m still praying for the 8th seed for this team. Anything that extends the downturn in fortunes, I’m all for.

    Where are are all the regular laker fan sycophants? Fairweather fans… bet they are.

    • mytthor - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      This always fascinates me. Just because I am a Laker fan through and through, even in the down years — so sayeth my Cedric Ceballos jersey — why do I have to be pounding the pavement screaming about what a great move picking this scrub up is? I still love the Lakers, and you’ll see me watching every game, cheering for them to win, but it doesn’t make me a blind idiot. Just like I don’t have to think Kobe is still the best player in the league.

    • asimonetti88 - Dec 20, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      The 8th seed being considered a downturn in fortunes for the Lakers shows just how great this team can be. Many franchises would consider the 8th seed a seminal moment in their history (Charlotte, New Orleans, Toronto, and a few others come to mind).

  10. grizzlystrike - Dec 21, 2013 at 7:52 AM

    I love how the lakers are so happy to claim stake to the suns leftovers. Oh how the times have changed. He can’t shoot, but “there isn’t a pass he can’t make”

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