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Phoenix Suns

Updated Jun 28, 2012 - 6:46 pm

Suns draft PG Kendall Marshall with 13th pick

This March 18, 2012 file photo shows North Carolina's Kendall Marshall, center, driving past Creighton's Josh Jones, rear, and Ethan Wragge, right, during the second half of a third-round NCAA tournament college basketball game in Greensboro, N.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

The Phoenix Suns have found their point guard of the future -- and possibly present, depending on what Steve Nash decides to do.

Phoenix selected point guard Kendall Marshall with the 13th pick in Thursday's 2012 NBA Draft, addressing the team's need for a player at the position.

"We are ecstatic," Suns GM Lance Blanks said of the pick. "That was the guy we were targeting all along."

The 6'4", 195-pound Marshall played two seasons at the University of North Carolina, averaging 8.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 9.8 assists per game while shooting 46% from the field last year.

He worked out twice for the Suns during the process, and impressed the Suns each time.

"He represents everything we want to be about as a player and a person," Blanks added. "Most importantly, if you look in his background, in his history, he's a winner.

"And that's exactly what we want to be here."

Marshall has been regarded as the best pure point guard in the draft. Last season, the 20-year-old tallied 311 assists, setting the all-time ACC record in a single season. He also recorded 17 games with 10 or more assists, preferring to distribute rather than score. Marshall ranked second in the nation in assists per game, behind only Scott Machado of Iona.

Marshall is coming off a fractured wrist suffered during the NCAA Tournament, and there are concerns about his ability to score and defend in the NBA, as well as his athleticism.

But that doesn't matter to the Suns.

"I can tell you now, we did not get Kendall for his athleticism, and Kendall knows that," Blanks said. "We got him for his brain, his ability to make people better, who he is off the court for our locker room."


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