The Phoenix Suns need a lot of help and that’s not really a secret. They finished the 2012-2013 NBA season with the worst record in the Western Conference and the fourth worst record in the league. Considering that they don’t have a great deal of cap room this off-season, though, they are going to need to focus on being smart in the 2013 NBA Draft and developing the young talent already on their roster.
They will obviously look to continue developing Goran Dragic as their starting point guard and will be looking for a bounce-back season from their center, Marcin Gortat. Phoenix will also hope to see improvement from Markieff Morris next season. However, one of their most promising prospects is somewhat being overlooked.
Many people around the league are dismissing Kendall Marshall’s rookie season because he shot the ball poorly. That’s a fair point as Marshall shot just 37.1 percent from the field and just 31.5 percent from long distance this season. However, that’s not the only thing that Marshall brings to the table for the Suns.
Marshall averaged just 14.6 minutes per game in the 48 games he played this season. However, over the team’s final eight games he played 18.4 minutes per game and looked solid. He averaged 3.9 points, 4.6 assists and 1.3 rebounds per game. He also raised his shooting percentages over that time, shooting 37.5 percent from the floor and 36.4 percent from three.
The most impressive part about the way Marshall finished the year for Phoenix was his ability to make plays with his passing. Over the final eight games he played, Marshall’s assist-to-turnover ratio was at 4.11, the highest on the Suns. He also led Phoenix with a 46.6 assist ratio over the final eight games, meaning that 46.6 percent of the possessions when he was on the floor ended with him assisting.
Marshall has a lot of work to do. He needs to get in the gym and work on his jump shot more and find ways to score more effectively at the pro level. He also, like most young players, needs to become sounder defensively. However, Marshall is more than solid at making plays with his passing. With this Suns team looking to build up from the cellar of the league, that’s a skill that they can mold and work with going forward.