Marshall – Seriously – A Deadline Winner

The Lakers are carving out a bigger opportunity for Kendall Marshall (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images).

The Lakers are carving out a bigger opportunity for Kendall Marshall (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images).

Mitch Kupchak said the strangest thing.

It was Thursday afternoon next to the court of the Lakers practice facility in El Segundo, Calif., in the work room/holding tank for the media, a chance to debrief the general manager once the trade deadline passed relatively quietly with Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill still on the roster despite being linked to every team in every league on most every continent, including a few in Antarctica.

Kupchak was asked about the deal that did happen, Steve Blake to the Warriors for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks the night before.

“Steve Blake has been here almost four years and as a person and player, we loved him, but our shortage of point guards about a month or so ago led us to Kendall Marshall,” Kupchak began. With Kendall and Jordan (Farmar), and of course Steve Nash is back there and Steve Blake, it really got to the point where we needed to free up some time in the backcourt to look at Jordan and give Kendall the time that he’s earned, and let’s review and evaluate where we are with those two players.”

Kupchak went on to say it would be a chance to look at a couple younger players, Bazemore and Brooks, as the Lakers prepare for a summer of roster upheaval and emphasized Blake to Golden State was not a cost-cutting move. But, again: “…we needed to free up some time in the backcourt to look at Jordan and give Kendall the time that he’s earned.”

The same guy who was unwanted at the start of 2013-14 by the new GM in Phoenix one season after arriving as the No. 13 pick in the draft, who was forced on the Wizards as salary-cap balast to make get Marcin Gortat to Washington and then quickly cut by the Wiz, who was in the D-League and free to be claimed by anyone, and who got a call from the Lakers only after the previous five tries at a starting point guard ended in injury. That Kendall Marshall.

Not that it isn’t deserved – 28 games, 17 starts, 45.6 percent from the field, 47.6 percent on threes, 10.7 points, 9.8 assists, 2.77 turnovers. The Lakers absolutely should take a longer look. What a new layer, though, to a serpentine story that has been well-chronicled.

Only now it has gotten to where a team is creating avenues to rely on him more, not even a season after Marshall was stamped across the forehead as unwanted. Shooting was always one of the concerns, and he will challenge for the league lead if he reaches the qualifying minimum by the end. The lack of athleticism has always been a red flag, and look who has the sixth-best assist-to-turnover ratio.

In reality, Marshall could have had a clearer path to more playing anyway. “Steve, the season is going nowhere fast and we know what you can do. We’re going to play Kendall more.” Path cleared. (It’s the same finesse job in a lot of places. The Kings say trading Marcus Thornton to the Nets opens more minutes for Ben McLemore. Or they could have just played McLemore more with Thornton on the roster and probably not hurt their championship hopes too much.)

This time, it is another tangible level of the Marshall recovery, no matter the semantics, in continuing to prove most every team wrong for letting him go unclaimed in the D-League. The next step is getting serious guaranteed money somewhere next season, not a partial to serve as a training-camp sparring partner, the best he likely would have hoped for until this star turn with the Lakers as a reminder of why he was a lottery pick as the best passing point guard in the 2012 draft that suddenly doesn’t feel so forever ago.

20 Comments

  1. lbjairk says:

    the lakers need :

    tony parker and kevin love.kobe.gasol.lebron james

  2. okc2014 says:

    Poor Marshon Brooks. I hope he gets playing time and is able to contribute this time around. Nobody except the nets gave this young tyke a chance. The Lakers have a lot of fish to fry….

  3. Jereac54 says:

    One can plainly see that the Lakers should do their best to hang to Marshall. “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. Too often have the Lakers developed a talent and then sent his off to come back and touch them in a game. Marshall is a keeper, Jim Buss make it happen!

  4. B Radd says:

    Lakers will be back in full effect!! Welcome Carmelo and Kevin Love!!

  5. mz13 says:

    I wonder why they bother with the pg position. When Kobe return will have the ball on his hands most of the time, no matter if they have a good pg or not…

  6. lakermig says:

    I personally think it was a good move, we got two young
    guys that although unproven have alot of upside especially brooks (at least offensively) they’re first game with us and they both already had very good games.brooks had 14 on 7of 11 shooting and bazemore did a little of everything got move in my books and it is true we do have a lot of pgs all of a sudden and they’re all at pretty much the same level imo it’s not exactly like blake really stood out in comparison to the others.

  7. John says:

    D’Antoni needs to go next year…all the injuries are cuz of his coaching system

  8. Lakers Fanatic says:

    Of course the big impact of the game is all about the “Coach Science”. I believe D’Antoni can’t fit with the Lakers. As a fanatic of Lakers team I want to see a strategies on what Phil Jackson did.

  9. J4CK Nicholson says:

    I hope next time the Lakers will also get lucky with a new coach (D’Antoni) and new guy who runs the show (Jim Buss). As a frustrated fan, I don’t blame the injuries that lead to most losses. What I can’t take though is the fact that aside from playing uninspired games (courtesy of D’Antoni) it’s the player movements that cost them games. From signing of Nash to D’Antoni’s hiring to Kobe’s big extension, not to mention letting Sessions, Odom, Brown go. Please JIm, give your sister a chance or let Phil and Kupchak run the show.

    • THADAL François says:

      LOL. Jim just gonna more stubborn with comment like this.

    • pro says:

      you are truly a dumb person and excuse my language but kobes big extension kobe is the franchise he win 5 championships in 17 seasons are u a tard please man don’t be dumb ok dantoni bad coach I agree losing odom I agree but kobe don’t u dare open ur mouth phil Jackson himself stated that he himself would sign kobe because of his great will to win phil himself said that after they sign him they asked phil in a interview so please don’t mention one of the greatest players to play this game u see where the lakers are this season with out kobe u tard sorry man for the disrespect

    • pej says:

      Uninspired game? Remember how D Antoni masterminded Phoenix Sun inspired game? Jackson is Lucky of not coaching the present Lakers team.

    • Ryan says:

      Yea well ive been a laker fan since the mid 90′s and its seriously all about ego. He wants to set his own legacy and do things his own way which is horrible. Fire mike brown after a couple games an this coach is running th eplayers to the ground. How can you play or hire a coach who hasnt been successful and doesnt care about defense when that wins games. hopefully we get good peices in the offseason

    • Lakerfan418 says:

      Amen

    • two says:

      which brown are you talking about?

    • foxhilldesign says:

      A coach does not make contract-year players play uninspired basketball; that’s on the players who are not good enough or do not care enough about their careers. Signing Nash did not cost them games; that one is on Damian Lillard breaking Nash;s leg. It’s impossible to evaluate D’Antoni yet because of all the injuries. Kobe’s contract affects nothing until next season. Sessions and Brown (Dr. Buss) left for more money as free agents, and Odom wanted out after the nixed trade for CP3 that would have prevented the mess on the floor now from ever happening. The Lakers will be back on top of the basketball world within 2-3 years (maybe sooner), so chill out and show some support.