The Phoenix Suns, who are in danger of losing free-agent point guard Steve Nash, made a move that may be intended to replace Nash when they selected North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall with the 13th overall selection of Thursday's NBA draft.
Marshall, a 6-4, 20-year-old, sophomore, averaged just 8.1 points but averaged 9.8 assists, second in the nation. His value became apparent in the NCAA Tournament after he was injured and unable to play. Without Marshall in the lineup, North Carolina had to to go to overtime to beat Ohio University, then lost to Kansas.
Marshall is a reluctant shooter, and his quickness is a question.
"We are ecstatic, as happy as we were last year," Suns General Manager Lance Blanks said, according to the Arizona Republic. "That was the guy that we were targeting all along. Kendall represents where we are as an organization. Don't read too far into this for free agency. But he represents everything we want to be about as a player and as a person. Most importantly, if you look in his background and history, he's a winner and that's what exactly we want to be here - a winner.
"We didn't get Kendall for his athleticism and Kendall knows that. We got him for his brain and his ability to make people better, who he is off the court for our locker room."