There were very few bright spots that stood out from the Los Angeles Lakers 2013-14 season. The Lakers began the season with their sights set on making the playoffs and making a run in an already deep Western Conference, but those thoughts quickly faded. In the beginning of the season, point guard was seen as a position of strength as the Lakers went three deep with Steve Nash, Steve Blake and the newly acquired Jordan Farmar. Call it a curse or bad karma, but all three Laker point guards in addition to Xavier Henry would suffer injuries that caused them to miss significant time throughout the season.
In the midst of having one of their worst seasons in franchise history and having no one to run the offense, the Lakers had one option — call up a player from the D-League.
In early December, Kendall Marshall, a 2012 first-round draft pick of the Phoenix Suns, was playing for the Delaware 87ers after being waived by the Washington Wizards who acquired him in a package deal that sent Marcin Gortat to the Wizards. By Jan. 3, Marshall was the starting point guard for the Lakers. In his first start, Marshall would score 20 points and dish out 15 assists, both of which were careers highs for him. Marshall would complete the season with averages of eight points and close to nine assists per game in addition to shooting 40 percent from the three-point line, which was an unexpected surprise considering how that was one of his biggest flaws coming out of North Carolina.
With only three players under contract next year, the Lakers need to fill their roster up with valuable veterans in addition to inexpensive young players who can actually play in this league. Last season for the Lakers was a wash, but Marshall proved that he is a point guard who can play in the NBA. The Lakers’ team option for Marshall next year is worth $915,243 which by many standards is an absolute steal. Where else will you find a backup point guard who has a pass-first mentality in a league full of shoot-first guards who can also run your offense, get the ball to guys in positions to score and have an uncanny ability to score the ball himself for under a million dollars? I’ll wait.
We all know how much Kobe Bryant likes to shoot the ball, so why not bring back a guy who can get him as well as other members of the team the ball in positions where they can score?