When Sebastian Telfair replaced Ronnie Price as the back-up point guard late last season Telfair tore it up on the floor. In the month of April he averaged 10.3 PPG (Points Per Game), 3.3 APG (Assist Per Game), shot 51% from the field and 85% from the free throw line; an absolutely solid performance from a back-up point guard. Does that mean Telfair will receive the role as Goran Dragic’s back-up over rookie Kendall Marshall?
When the Suns took Marshall with the 13th overall pick in the past draft, it was a sign that Steve Nash may be going out the door. At the time the Suns didn’t know they were going to get Dragic and yet they reached for Marshall who wasn’t projected as a lottery pick and wasn’t even invited to the 2012 draft “Green Room”. The Suns could’ve gone for Moe Markless, Royce White, Terrence Jones or even John Henson who were all regarded as better prospects but instead they went for Marshall.
You know what that decision is saying? The Suns front office was either really dumb or really smart. The way I looked at the Marshall pick was, “Okay this means Steve Nash is probably gone but at least they get a young point guard who’s a great passer and has a great basketball IQ, and Telfair was going to be his back-up.” Now, if the Suns originally wasted a lottery pick on a player who was going to be TELFAIR’S BACK-UP then they have got to be the biggest idiots on the planet.
Telfair is good player and a great back-up point guard but let’s face it, if any of you were an NBA general manager, would you use the 13thpick in one of the best drafts in recent memory to take Sebastian Telfair? Probably not. If you did, you’d probably get fired.
Ultimately it’ll be highly unlikely for Telfair to play ahead of Marshall for so many reasons. Telfair has already been in the NBA for 8 seasons, his PER (player efficiency rating) has never gone past 13.21, which was his PER this past season. Telfair isn’t going to become Derrick Rose in one off-season. We already know what we’ll get from Telfair: hustle, toughness and grit, but we still haven’t seen what Marshall can bring to the table.
Marshall will get heavy minutes as Dragic’s back-up to start the year. Alvin Gentry as well as the rest of planet orange will want to see what he’s made of however if Marshall struggles heavily then Alvin Gentry would have no choice but to play Telfair and bench Marshall. Is Marshall going to win Rookie of the Year? Doubtful, but will Marshall be solid enough to be considered a lottery talent? Most likely. The Suns front office has already bombed so many recent drafts including the 2011 draft where they passed on Kawhi Leonard and Kenneth Faried. Let’s not even get into the whole Earl Clark fiasco. This was a big off-season for the Suns and so far, under the great management of Lon Babby, it’s hard to believe the Suns just bombed another one.