If you haven’ t heard by now, Sixers GM Sam Hinkie picked up former Phoenix Suns first-round pick Kendall Marshall and assigned him to the Sixers D-League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers. Marshall probably would have never imagine his career would end up playing in an empty arena in Newark, Delaware, but he’s still playing the game he loves and he is taking the utmost advantage of it.
The 22 year old Marshall played a full season in Phoenix last season, but only played 14.6 minutes per game and averaged 3 points. Marshall said the following about his place in the league:
“I do believe I belong in the NBA,” Marshall said. “I’m sure there’s about a couple thousand players in the world that feel that way right now, too.”
Marshall has been making quite the case to make his way back to the NBA and on December 9th, Adrian Wojnarowski dropped this bomb on us:
Delaware's Kendall Marshall – 31 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds in D-League debut – on way to Memphis for guard workout too, sources tell Y!
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 9, 2013
However, it’s been a few days and Marshall hasn’t been signed by Memphis and continues to flourish with the 87ers. Let’s talk about just how effective he’s been in the D-league. Obviously, the talent level is lowered, but still, he’s performing.
In five games played for the 87ers, Marshall is averaging 21.6 points, 9.2 assists and 5 rebounds. His 9.2 assists are good for second in the NBADL and he has an AST/TO ratio of 2.56.
Sevens Coach Ron Baker has been extremely vocal about Marshall’s play thus far:
“Whatever criticisms that people had coming out of last year about his game, he’s fixed all that,” Sevens coach Rod Baker said. “I don’t know if he’s a better shooter or not, but he’s a much more confident shooter. That’s half the battle. Prior to now, he’s been reluctant. He hasn’t been reluctant at all this year.”
In his five games with the Sevens, Marshall has only two games where he hasn’t scored 20+ points. Including his first game with the 87ers, where he went off for 31 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds. The huge knock on Marshall coming out of North Carolina was his shooting, but it appears Marshall took his time off from the NBA to fix this.
Marshall is shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from deep (16-30). It appears that Marshall has used this chance in the D-League to prove all his doubters wrong, especially about his jump shot. He’s shooting lights out so far this season. It’s a small sample, but it’s impressive nonetheless.
One would have to imagine the Marshall see’s a call up to the NBA sooner rather than later. His performance with the 87ers proves that he deserves another shot in the NBA. I know Sam Hinkie has to be aware of his performance and I can imagine seeing Marshall signed by the Sixers in the immediate future. Hinkie should cut Lorenzo Brown or Elliot Williams and sign Marshall. The upside of Marshall cannot be ignored and hopefully Hinkie realizes this before someone else does.
Should the Sixers sign Kendall Marshall?
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