Marshall to Lead Lakers in Summer League
During his exit interview in April, Kendall Marshall said he would play in the Las Vegas Summer League ... if the Lakers wanted him to. As it has turned out, they do.
Though summer league rosters are typically made up of rookies and sophomores, Marshall spoke of how he almost felt like a rookie last season because of limited court time during his first year. Now he headlines a Lakers summer league squad consisting of 15 players - five with NBA experience - set to compete in Las Vegas starting Friday.
"It’s been a long offseason doing a lot of individual work so I’m excited to play 5-on-5 finally and put some of the stuff I’ve been working on into a game situation," Marshall said.
A former lottery pick of the Phoenix Suns in 2012, Marshall was traded to Washington prior to the start of the 2013-14 season, and subsequently waived. He signed to play in the D-League and was acquired by the Delaware 87ers, then was called up by L.A. in December, in part due to injuries to every point guard on the roster.
He ended up starting 45 games for the Lakers, while averaging 8.0 points and 8.8 assists, ranking second in the NBA to Chris Paul in the latter category. Marshall, however, faces an unguaranteed contract for the upcoming season.
"I feel like I still have a lot to prove," Marshall said. "For some reason, there’s always a reason why I’m successful or why I’m not successful. So I kind of need to put that doubt to rest and just go out there and prove I can play."
Upon his arrival, Marshall made an immediate impact - at least according to the stats. He averaged 11.9 points and 11.5 dimes in January, which included a string of five straight double–digit assist games. His production thereafter dipped, however, in part due to 43.5 minutes per contest he saw during that initial full month with the club that fatigued him.
Despite this, Marshall still put up big assist numbers in Mike D'Antoni's offense, and also finished seventh among all point guards in three-point field goal percentage (39.9). During one stretch of the season, he led the league in that category.
As floor general for the summer league team, Marshall wants to show he can lead a club and be successful, particularly after suffering through the worst record in franchise history during an injury riddled 2013-14 campaign.
"The main thing I want to prove is I can win in this league," he said. "That’s what’s most important."
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