Marshall 'blessed and fortunate' to be a Sun
"I watched it right at home," Marshall said of the draft on a conference call with the Phoenix media Thursday night after the Suns made him the 13th pick in the draft. "We ordered some chinese food. It was me, my family, my agent and my two best friends."
The low-key nature of Marshall's evening sort of mirrors his play on the court. He's not flashy. He's not the best athlete.
Instead he's a heady player who was the best passer in this year's draft class.
Marshall averaged nearly 10 assists per game at UNC in 2011-12, blending solid, fundamental passes with highlight deliveries to his Tar Heel teammates.
"I feel like there's no pass I can't complete," he said. "Sometimes it meant I was throwing the ball over the backboard or I'm throwing the ball on a string to get it to one of my teammates. It could be a great thing or a bad thing -- I'm going to have to take charge of that and make sure it's the right play for the team."
Marshall is a point guard, so at least right now, he's the backup to Steve Nash. But the veteran point guard could sign elsewhere when the NBA free agency period begins Sunday, so there's a chance that he'll be asked to replace a two-time MVP and one of the most beloved players in Suns history.
"I know it's not going to be easy," Marshall said when asked about the possibility of replacing Nash. "But I'm up for the challenge. Adversity is something that I'm accustomed to and have had to deal with so I'm going to take my lumps, but I'll learn from them and ultimately get better."
Regardless of what his immediate role with the Suns is, Marshall is excited to start his career in the Valley.
"I'm extremely blessed and fortunate," he said. "I felt like I had the most chemistry, the best visit and the best workout when I was in Phoenix and I felt like I could be the best fit there. I'm excited to just get out there and hopefully be a small part of the bigger picture of getting Phoenix to turn it around and get back to their winning ways."
Most critics of Marshall's game cite his lack of a consistent outside shot and marginal defense. The Virginia native knows those are two areas where he needs to put in a lot of work as a pro.
"They are criticisms for a reason -- I know I need to get better at them," he said. "I'm excited about it. Obviously now, there's no school to get in the way. This is my profession, this is my job and I have no choice not to get better."
Marshall will be in Phoenix Friday to be introduced by his new team.
- Tim Kempton, Suns' Analyst - Wednesday June 19Suns' Analyst Tim Kempton joins Doug and Wolf to talk about the NBA Finals game six and if the Spurs
- Jared Dudley, Suns forward - Tuesday June 18Jared Dudley joins Doug and Wolf to talk NBA Finals.
- Jared Dudley, Suns' Forward - Tuesday June 11JD gives us his player's perspective on the NBA Finals.
- Brian Windhorst, NBA ESPN.com Writer - Friday June 7Brian Windhorst talks about Game 1 of the NBA Finals and what to expect from the rest of the series.
- Suns GM Ryan McDonough - Friday June 7The Suns GM talks about prospects Ben McLemore of Kansas and Victor Oladipo of Indiana.