Thursday, December 19, 2013

Report: The Lakers Sign Point Guard Kendall Marshall

It only took Kobe Bryant sustaining a fractured left knee, but Mitch Kupchak finally went out and signed a point guard the team desperately needed, with all three point guards, and Bryant (once again) out with serious injuries. After the Bulls signed D.J. Augustin six days ago, the point guard market looked bleak, with options ranging from former Suns' guard coming off of a major injury Leandro Barbosa and former All-Star (and gun slinger) Gilbert Arenas to old and broken Baron Davis and Mike Bibby.

Bryant, who is expected to miss six weeks with this latest injury, will not require surgery, and this does leave the Lakers dangerously thin at both of the guard positions, as Xavier Henry was the only player who can handle extended periods at the point guard position. Jodie Meeks is set to start once again, and Wesley Johnson can also play shooting guard, though he will have to give up some minutes at power forward to do so. And, of course, Kobe Bryant wouldn't be Kobe Bryant if he didn't continue playing and close out the game in Memphis after sustaining the injury mid way through the 4th quarter.

Marshall was with the D-League's Delaware 87ers (an affiliate of the 76ers), and he was averaging 19.4 points per game and 9.6 assists per game in 37 minutes of game time. The deal is not guaranteed and expect the Lakers to keep their eye on another potential addition, should someone else go down. And, in case you were wondering, Steve Nash is no where near being able to return soon; the future Hall-of-Famer was re-evaluated today and is expected to miss 4 or more weeks with his nerve root irritation. Bad news all around for the Lakers.

I am happy that Marshall is getting another shot; he was picked 13th overall in the 2012 NBA draft, being College Basketball's best point guard prospect of the draft, only to get traded the next season to Washington (along side Marcin Gortat). Marshall was waived days later and was signed by the 87ers a few weeks ago. Hopefully, he can develop some more. Marshall is something of a Rajon Rondo type; good at ball handling and distributing, but he can't shoot very well, only shooting 57% from the free throw line with the Suns, though he did show a solid outside stroke, hitting 3 pointers at a 37% clip. At 6'4'', Marshall can play either of the guard positions, though he is more of a natural point guard.  It's time for the Lakers to hold the fort down until number 24 can recover.