The Los Angeles Lakers continue to have their 2013-2014 season marred by injuries, the most recent being point guard Jordan Farmar, who is expected to miss at least four weeks due to a tear in his left hamstring. He had missed time in December with a similar injury to the same hamstring, and he will join Steve Nash (back) and Steve Blake (right elbow) in street clothes for the foreseeable future.
Kendall Marshall was drafted 13th overall by the Phoenix Suns in 2012, but he was traded to the Washington Wizards in October before being waived and then signing with the Lakers in December. To this point he has played four games for the Lakers, averaging 5.3 points and 2.5 assists per game over 13.5 minutes per contest, but he has 18 points, 10 assists and three rebounds over his last two games as his playing time has increased (45 total minutes). As the only healthy point guard on the Lakers’ roster Marshall is now in line to start and play significant minutes, but should fantasy basketball owners add the North Carolina product to their rosters?
Marshall played 48 games (three starts) for the Suns as a rookie last season, and he averaged just 3.0 points and 3.0 assists per game with a dismal shooting percentage (37.1 percent from the floor) in a minimal role (14.6 minutes per game). A new regime in Phoenix surely didn’t do him any favors in terms of getting another chance this season, so it looks to have been beneficial for both sides that he has moved on.
Marshall has made just over 57 percent of his shots from the floor in his brief time with Los Angeles, in admittedly a very small sample size, so I think his scoring output will have to come from increased shot volume as opposed to great proficiency as a shooter. His best and most consistent contribution for fantasy owners will come in the assist category, and his per-36 minute averages (7.3 last season; 6.7 through four games this season) point to nice upside with more playing time.
Marshall’s ownership percentage looks likely to rise over the next week or so, but he is currently available in 90 percent of Yahoo! leagues. His long-term value over the rest of the season is still to be determined, as Nash, Blake, Farmar and Xavier Henry presumably begin to return to action, but for now Marshall is worth adding in deeper leagues for owners that need a boost in assists.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.