Yesterday I talked about the first Tar Heel being taken in Thursday’s NBA Draft… Harrison Barnes, who landed in a team, the Golden State Warriors, that seem to be a good fit for one another. Today’s post will be about the second player from Chapel Hill to be picked in the draft, point guard Kendall Marshall. Interesting enough of all the four players who were under the tuteledge of head coach Roy Williams, the sophomore floor general seemed to be the one that would be going last, some having him as low as 20th to the Denver Nuggets. So, when I heard Marshall’s name going 11th, to the Phoenix Suns, I was surprised, pleasently I might add. However, what I thought would happen to the young man, working behind an All-Star like Steve Nash, might not happen, as the 38 year old does not seem too sure about remaining with his current team.
I don’t necessarily feel like (Phoenix is) a home run anymore. … I think there’s a lot of factors. So, one, I’m not sure they’re determined to keep me; two, there’s other opportunities that are exciting.
From an article on ESPN the front runners for the Nash’s services are: Brooklyn, Dallas, New York and Toronto. However the veteran floor general has also said that he is “open to everything”, which makes the thought of him leaving the Suns even more of a reality, while adding that “I could not list a favorite”. This would then mean that Marshall would be coming into the franchise fighting for the starting role more than working to get minutes off the bench. And while most of the Carolina fan base must be jumping for joy, I am looking at this and do not see it as the best thing that could have happened to second year guard, who still needs some work, as I wrote in my draft preview, both scoring more and on the defensive side of the ball.
Nash is coming off a season where he scored 12.5 points per game along with 10.7 assists per contest. While the second category Marshall might be able to give to his new team, I am not sure he can in the first one. This is definitely going to be a problem for a squad that has missed the playoffs two seasons in a row and is looking to bounce back as it would put a lot of pressure on a young guard to forego the learning curve and be thrown into the mix maybe prematurely. I think that the former floor general from North Carolina can do a great job at the next level, and I also believe there will be players that want to be able to have a pure passing point guard to work with, knowing they can get the ball in the right spot. However I do not like the possibility of seeing someone thrown to the proverbial “wolves” too early and that is what could be happening to Marshall if Steve Nash decides to move on from the Suns.
The next few weeks will be very interesting to see what happens to Kendall Marshall. Will he be the back up to a future Hall of Famer, or will he be the one that has to step in, fresh out of college and fill the shoes left by that same player? The two roads are totally different and might truly shape the career of this 20 year old as he begins the next chapter of his basketball life. As more information comes out I will be sure to update it right here on isportsweb. Until then, I wish both Kendall Marshall and all the other Tar Heels selected the best of luck with their new franchises.
Also make sure to listen on ITunes to this week’s “Pushing the Envelope” podcast, where I talk with guests such as Andrew Jones (@AJonesFoxSports on twitter and you can also check him out on Face Book) of FoxSportsSouth.com and FoxSportsCarolinas.com and Adam Powell (@HeelsIllustrated on twitter and you can also check him out on Face Book) of TarHeelsIllustrade.com (Rivals.com) about all the Tar Heels that had their name called in this year’s NBA Draft.