In today’s underwhelming NBA news, the Delaware 87ers, the Sixers’ D-League affiliate, claimed 2012 lottery pick and former North Carolina Tar Heel Kendall Marshall. This claim was first reported by Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski.
(It is important to note how Hinkie-y this move is: It follows his trend of looking at low risk/high (potential) reward players that could succeed with development, that other teams had given up on).
Marshall was selected 13th overall in the 2012 NBA draft by the Phoenix Suns after two solid seasons at the University of North Carolina.
During his sophomore season at UNC, Marshall set the school record for most assists in a single season, and was given the Bob Cousy Award as the Nation’s top point guard. He averaged an extremely impressive 9.8 assists (!) per game that season, and declared for the draft shortly after its completion.
Popular scouting site NBAdraft.net gave Marshall a favorable review heading into the draft, comparing him to current Warriors’ coach Marc Jackson, and stating that he was a “brilliant, natural floor general, who understands how to control the flow of the game;” pretty high praise for a point.
Despite the high praise and his lofty lottery selection, Marshall didn’t receive too much opportunity with Phoenix last season, as he averaged only 14 minutes of action and spent some substantial time with their D-League affiliate, Bakersfield. He did however record 13 assists in his first career start late last season, demonstrating his potential.
Marshall was shipped to Washington in a cost-cutting move in late October, and was waived after three days with the Wizards.
He will now find himself serving as the Seven’s main attraction, as he battles to get a spot back from the D-League’s big brother.
Since he has a contract with the D-League and not the Sixers themselves, Marshall isn’t the Sixers’ property and could be called up by any team, not just the 7-6.
However, his affiliation with the Sixers affiliate should allow Brett Brown and company access to the guard, and as they have shown throughout this season, they are not opposed to trying out players.
At 6’4’’ Marshall has great size for the point guard position, something Brett Brown is fond of. Like Carter-Williams and Tony Wroten, who are both over 6’5’’, Marshall is able to use his size to see over and around defenders to make plays. He is an extremely gifted passer, as evidenced by his sophomore season at UNC, and can run the break well, which would allow him to fit nicely into Brett Brown’s system.
Marshall’s ability to put the ball in the basket remains a concern, as he often struggled to score in college, but the same was said about Carter-Williams and Wroten prior to the season, and both have been able to produce points under Brett Brown.
While he hasn’t been able to last in the league to this point, Marshall’s prowess as a point guard makes him especially intriguing, and at 22, he still has plenty of time to improve upon his all-around game to get it up to an NBA level. Brett Brown has already demonstrated his ability to develop young talent (MC-W, Wroten, and Thompson have all seen improvement this season), and considering his size and skill set, Marshall seems a likely candidate to benefit from Brown, if the Sixers are so inclined to call him up.
(Note: If the Sixers were to call up a player from the 87ers, they must first cut a player currently on the roster).
Update: The Sevens made the acquisition official Wednesday morning, via their Twitter page.