Marshall Assigned to D-League's Jam
While almost all of the Suns will be in Canada to face the Raptors on Friday, one player will be remaining stateside.
Suns rookie point guard Kendall Marshall was assigned to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League on Thursday.
“Right now Kendall is our third point guard on the depth chart,” Suns General Manager Lance Blanks said. “We made the judgment that it'd be better to get Kendall some live game repetitions and game-time experience in case (Suns Head) Coach (Alvin) Gentry wants to play him."
Thus far this season, the No. 13 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft out of North Carolina has seen limited playing time behind starting point guard Goran Dragic and backup point guard Sebastian Telfair.
“It's a long season, and in most cases, the third point guard is called upon at some point," Blanks said. "We want Kendall to be ready and prepared should his number be called. Practice experience can only take his development so far.”
As a Tar Heel, Marshall earned second-team All-ACC honors after leading the league, and finishing second in the nation, in assists per game (9.8) and assist-to-turnover ratio (3.5). He also broke the ACC’s single-season record for assists with 351 and finished his career as North Carolina’s all-time leader in assist average (7.96), as well as the ACC’s leader in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.01).
However, with Dragic and Telfair creating a log jam at that position, Marshall has appeared in only six games this season. In just over five minutes per appearance, the 6-4 playmaker is averaging 1.2 points and 0.8 assists a game.
“As a young rookie, Kendall has met all of our expectations thus far,” Blanks said. “We are as happy to have him here as a Sun as we were the day we drafted him last June. He's professional, committed to being the best he can be, and most importantly, he is a winner.”
Suns player development coordinator Lindsey Hunter will accompany Marshall during the early stages of his time in Bakersfield. Hunter, who was an NBA point guard for 17 seasons, will continue to help coach Marshall during games and practices.
The Suns rookie is expected to spend seven to 10 games with the Jam before rejoining the Suns.
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