2012 NBA Draft Grades: Kendall Marshall to Phoenix Suns at No. 13

Phoenix Suns | Last Season: 33-33 | Draft Picks: 13

Season Summary: Just like the Houston Rockets, the Suns fell a few games short of reaching the playoffs last season. However, Give Phoenix credit considering they fell just short of the playoffs with Marcin Gortat as their leading scorer with just 15.4 points per game.

Draft Needs: As bad as it sounds, the Suns entered the draft in the position to take the best player available for just about any spot. Of course, things could easily change if Steve Nash—who is a free agent this summer—ends up leaving for another team.

#13 Pick: Kendall Marshall | PG | North Carolina

Marshall is the best pure point guard in this year’s draft.  His greatest strength has to be ability to set up his teammates.  He’s an instinctive passer who led the ACC, and finished 2nd in the country in assists with 9.8 per game.  He left the Tar Heels as the all-time leader in assist average (7.96). Marshall is also leads the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.01), and had five career 15 assist games.  So yeah, he can dish the rock better than anyone in the draft.  He’s smart with the basketball, and he’s a better shooter than most give him credit for.

Grade: B+

2012-2013 Outlook: Depending on what happens with Nash, next season could be a rebuilding year for the Suns and it’s difficult to see them making a strong run at the playoffs. Then again, this is a team that found plenty of success last year with their depth beyond Nash—so there’s always that slight chance they could make a strong run at the playoffs.

Check out all of Rant Sports 2012 NBA Draft Grades from the 1st Round.