Hometown: Dumfries, Va.
Birthday: Aug. 19, 1991
Draft: 2012, 13th overall by Phoenix
College: North Carolina
2012-13 Salary: $1,919,160
Season Outlook: The 13th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft faces an uphill climb simply to earn playing time with the Suns. He’s young — he didn’t play in a complete season as a starter at North Carolina as a freshman and missed out on this postseason because of a wrist injury. And while his passing abilities go well in the Suns’ system, his style doesn’t mold well into a backup point guard spot that Sebastian Telfair appears to have locked down. He has an inconsistent jumper and an apprehensive trigger to go with it that makes him fairly one-dimensional early in his career.
How Phoenix does record-wise could have much to do with Marshall cracking the rotation. If the Suns remain in the playoff hunt and Telfair continues to play as well as he did last season, it’ll be hard for Gentry to disrupt what will be a 10- or 11-man rotation. If they struggle, any form of “tanking” would include the young point guard seeing increased minutes to help him develop. – Kevin Zimmerman
Biography: A 2010 McDonald’s All-American, Kendall Marshall’s rise at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Va., lumped heavy expectations upon him. Still, in playing basketball for Roy Williams on a loaded North Carolina team, it was assumed it’d take time for Marshall to be under the spotlight.
His coming-out-party came sooner than expected.
Playing behind then-starter Larry Drew II, the Tar Heels soon realized that it was the freshman point guard who was the better option. Thus Marshall was thrust into the starting lineup midway through his first season after UNC lost by 20 points to Georgia Tech the game prior. Drew soon quit the squad and Marshall’s increased duties resulted in 16 assists against Florida State.
Marshall had arrived, and his success turned him into one of the most prolific passers to play in college basketball. He averaged 9.8 assists per game during his sophomore season at UNC.
Drafted as the heir apparent to Steve Nash before the two-time MVP was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, Marshall will no doubt have high expectations as the No. 13 overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft. Of course, the free agent signing of Goran Dragic puts the drama and expectations lumped upon Marshall in a holding pattern, but as history has shown, perhaps he’ll be ready sooner rather than later.
Links to ValleyoftheSuns coverage of Marshall: