As the painful 2012-2013 NBA season rolled on for the lowly Phoenix Suns, they had the chance to experiment with young players and watch them develop. Though they have improved heading into this season, they will have the chance to do the same. However, some of the young players that saw time last season may not get the same opportunity this year.
One such player is point guard Kendall Marshall. Though Marshall didn’t really have a role at all at the start of last season, he got opportunities backing up Goran Dragic in the last half of the season, playing 17 minutes per game after the All-Star break.
In the 29 games that he played after All-Star Weekend, Marshall averaged 3.6 points, 3.9 assists, 1.2 rebounds and 0.6 steals per game, though he shot only 36 percent from the floor and committed 1.4 turnovers per game.
Marshall has a solid ability to make passes in the open court and facilitate the offense, but he also tends to force passes through holes that aren’t there. That also doesn’t begin to describe his woes when it comes to shooting, which looked extremely ugly at times last season.
However, with the arrival of both Eric Bledsoe and Ish Smith this off-season to join Dragic and Marshall, Marshall could be the odd-man out. At the very least, he will be competing in training camp with Smith for the third point guard position.
In my opinion, the Suns would be best suited to send Marshall to the D-League this season to let him keep developing. Marshall has discernible NBA level skills, but he needs to fine tune them, something he won’t have the opportunity to do in Phoenix this season. Sending him to the D-League will give him the chance to develop further and will likely help the Suns in regards to their future. Marshall could be a solid point guard in this league, but now isn’t his time.