Report: Sixers Interested in Kendall Marshall


August has come to a close and training camp is just a few short weeks away for the Philadelphia 76ers. While it would appear that the roster is all but set for training camp, Sam Hinkie said on a conference call a few weeks ago that the team is still active in the market. Hinkie is not one to usually reveal his hand, but he may have been telling the truth as according to Michael Kaskey-Blomain of Philadunkia, the Sixers have expressed interest in point guard Kendall Marshall.

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The Sixers currently have a stable of point guards on their roster as they head into training camp. The team returns Tony Wroten and Isaiah Canaan from last year’s roster. They also brought on Pierre Jackson, Scottie Wilbekin, and T.J. McConnell this offseason to provide some depth and competition for the position.

In most cases it would be plausible to assume that the team was done making additions at the point guard position, but the problem facing the Sixers is that all of their point guards are unproven as full-time starters. With that being said the team is reportedly continually looking to add to that position heading into camp.

Marshall was the 13th overall pick of the Phoenix Suns in  the 2012 draft. Coming out of North Carolina, his main strengths were his passing and ball-handling skills. His major struggle in college was his jump shot, and he continued to struggle with it in the NBA. Marshall only appeared in 48 games during his rookie season before he was traded to the Wizards and subsequently waived in October of 2013.

After not getting any offers from any NBA teams in the first couple months of the season, it was ironically the Sixers who came calling with a roster spot on their D-League affiliate. During his seven game stint in Deleware, Marshall completely went off by averaging 19.4 points and 9.6 assists, while shooting an astounding 46.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Knowing it would have to improve for him to be able to make it in the NBA, Marshall had worked a lot on his jump shot and it showed. Improving his game paid off as well with a call-up and a contract from the Lakers in late December.

Marshall appeared in 54 games for the Lakers to close out the 2013-14 season, in which he averaged 29 minutes, 8 points, and 8.8 assists. Since his call-up from the Lakers Marshall has bounced around the league a bit. He signed with Milwaukee last offseason, but tore his ACL in mid-January. He was then dealt back to the Suns and subsequently released. Marshall is expected to be ready to go by training camp.

The one skill that Marshall possesses over the other five point guards on the Sixers roster is his elite passing. I am well aware that Tony Wroten can thread the needle with some nice passes, but his passes also can end up in the tenth row, and be incredibly inaccurate at times. The Sixers want to play uptempo if they can, so Marshall would be a help in that regard, and in the half court his passing skills would be resourceful for keeping the ball moving and on making entry passes into the post.

If the Sixers plan on having Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor on the court at the same time for a large amount of minutes, then Marshall’s shooting ability from deep would provide valuable floor spacing.

The Sixers still have a couple of training camp roster spots to give away, so it would not be a shocking move if the team brought on Marshall. They already have five point guards, but with the exception of Tony Wroten none of them have solidified a spot on the roster.

Besides his struggles on the defensive end, Marshall is the prototypical point guard for the system the Sixers want to run. I would have given him a call him up a couple of seasons ago when he was tearing it up in Delaware and I hope Hinkie gives him a shot to compete for a roster spot in training camp.

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