Right around the time when the Las Vegas NBA Summer League began, rumors began to surface around the Phoenix Suns second-year point guard Kendall Marshall.
“They’re trying to attach him to pretty much any deal that comes up,” another executive said here at Summer League. “If you want to talk about any of their players, they include him. He’s basically the price of admission to any trade right now.”
Looking at the situation from one angle, trading Kendall Marshall makes a bit of sense. With the addition of young guards with high ceilings such as Eric Bledsoe and Archie Goodwin, it seems that it would only be logical for the Suns to move Marshall in order to give those two guys more time on the court.
That of course is looking at the glass half empty…
Looking from the perception of the glass half full, the rumors could have potentially been born out of thin to be nothing more than a motivation for Kendall Marshall to further improve his game and earn his keep on the Suns roster. After all, if being doubted by the very team that drafted you isn’t enough to push you forward as a player, little else will.
Many of the average NBA fan are victims of rumors. Most of time rumors are just rumors which is why most of the significant trades that takes place are trades that no one ever saw coming. Exhibit A, the recent Eric Bledsoe deal. On top of that, often times rumors are leaked out by NBA front offices themselves because of some type of mystical agenda that leaves most of us scratching our heads. (If one wants to learn the truth about NBA trade rumors click here.)
Throughout the first few games of the NBA summer league Kendall Marshall has looked like an improved player. He’s definitely more confident when it comes to scoring, his shooting mechanics have certainly improved a great deal (much better elevation on that jump shot of his), and he looks much lighter on his feet than he did last season. So with all of the improvements he’s made, one has to wonder what the kid will look like during the regular season.
It remains a fact that the Suns have somewhat of a log jam at the point guard position with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe however keep in mind one thing, both guys has had success in the past playing at shooting guard. Bledsoe experienced a lot of success on the court playing next to Chris Paul as did Dragic did playing along Steve Nash in Phoenix for few seasons.
With technology and media being a constant presence 24/7 during these technologically advanced times, I’m sure Marshall is aware of the rumors, and in a way he’s responded to those rumors with his improved play on the court. Apparently, the Suns newly hired general manager Ryan McDonough has taken notice of that as well.
“I wouldn’t say he’s available,” Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said on Monday. “Everybody has a price, right? It depends on what that price is. As you saw out there today, he’s been working very hard on his shot. He made a couple 3-pointers, made the game-tying shot. I think that’ll be the next step in Kendall’s development. He’s also worked very hard on his body. As you can probably tell, he’s in good shape now. He has the natural, innate passing ability to find guys.”
The bottom line here is that whether the Suns are seriously attempting to trade Marshall or not, it would be wise for them to hold on to him; at least until after this upcoming season. Of all teams, the Suns should know that it takes a while for a young player to develop into a great point guard.
The goofy point guard the Suns drafted out of Santa Clara in 1996 didn’t become the Steve Nash we all know and love over night. In fact it took Nash until his fifth season to hone in on what it takes to be a great point guard in the NBA.
Naturally there isn’t a soul out there right now who’s willing to put their foot down and make the acclamation that Kendall Marshall will develop into a top-tier point guard like Nash did but it’s too early to quit on Marshall.
Marshall will be just 22-years old next month which means he still has a good three or four years before he hit his prime, and that means he’s got three-plus years to work on his game. That’s a long time friends. That’s a long time…