Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Sixers should consider calling up Kendall Marshall

Addition: Earlier this week, the Delaware Sevens claimed former lotto pick Kendall Marshall, as I documented here for 

Since this acquisition, I've began to think that Marshall makes some sense for the Sixers, at least to try out. 

The Sixers are using the season to try out a rotation of talent, and it only seems logical that Marshall would get a shot. The team has been in need of a back-up point guard all season, and with his size, athleticism, and ability to run the break, Marshall may make a nice fit in Brett Brown's system. 

Tony Wroten, while he has done decently filling in for Carter-Williams when he has been unable to play, may be better suited as a back-up scorer, rather than point man. He is often erratic, and makes some mistakes. He likes to put his head down and drive to the basket; a style which would be better suited off ball. 

Darius Morris was given an opportunity earlier this season, and currently Lorenzo Brown is getting some burn. Brown however has been unimpressive, and his minutes may be better used evaluating elsewhere. 

Marshall has the size and athleticism for a guard that Brett Brown prefers, and he has an excellent ability to pass and run an offense, averaging almost ten assists per game during his sophomore season at UNC. He's not the future face of the franchise, but he may work well as a backup point. The option is at least worth exploring. 

(Note: If the Sixers were to call up a player from the 87ers, they must first cut a player currently on the roster). 

From 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.      
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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 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.

Update: The Sevens made the acquisition official Wednesday morning, via their Twitter page. 



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