Kendall Marshall wasted little time in making his presence felt with the Delaware Sevens, the Sixers’ D-League affiliate.
After being claimed by the Sevens mid-week, the former lottery pick debuted for Delaware with a 31 point, 10 assist, nine-rebound performance on Thursday, which he followed with a 14 point, 12 assist outing on Friday.
Marshall played major minutes in both games and while the talent level of the NBDL is clearly less than that of the NBA, his performances so far have to make you wonder if it may be worthwhile for the Sixers to give him a shot.
The Sixers have been on a season-long search for a backup point guard for rookie Michael Carter-Williams, and the organization is using the lowered expectations this season to try out all types of talent.
Darius Morris was given an opportunity to be that backup, but he was unable to seize the spot and was jettisoned after a 12-game tryout with the team. Morris averaged 6.9 points and 2.6 assists in 16 minutes of action during his stint with the Sixers.
Lorenzo Brown is currently benefitting from Sam Hinkie’s trial-and-error approach, but in limited time he hasn’t been able to show much and it is less than likely that he is a long-term solution.
Tony Wroten has played impressively, especially in the absence of Carter-Williams, who has battled some injury issues so far this season, but he is also erratic. Wroten’s assist to turnover ratio of 1.44, which is 64th in the NBA, combined with his aggression on the offensive end makes you think that he may be better suited for an off-ball bench role.
So considering the opportunities that other unproven players are getting with the Sixers this season, and the team’s need for a solid backup point, it may make some sense to at least give Marshall a shot.
Marshall demonstrated the ability to orchestrate an offense in college, where he averaged a phenomenal 9.8 assists a game during his sophomore season, and legendary coach Roy Williams credited him as being the best passer he’s ever had on the break.
His skill set, size (Brett Brown has a thing for long, athletic guards), and aforementioned ability to operate on the break would seemingly make him an excellent fit as a backup in Brown’s system.
No, he can’t shoot very well, or defend, but hey, the Sixers are development central now, as Carter-Williams, Wroten, and Hollis Thompson have all improved in those areas over the course of the season. If Marshall could improve the other areas of his game, as Thompson has, then he could really develop into an important piece for a team.
Considering the team’s approach of trying out talent, it seems that Kendall Marshall might be at least worth a shot for the Sixers.
*Although he is currently on the Sevens, Marshall has a contract with the D-League rather than the team itself. Thus, any other team could call him up, and the Sixers would need to cut someone if they wanted to sign him for the current season.