The Kendall Marshall era is underway in the Valley of the Sun, as the young point guard was introduced as the newest member of the Phoenix Suns Friday after being picked 13th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft.
For Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby, it couldn’t have come any sooner.
“He represents everything we want this franchise to be, to continue to be and to be into the future,” Babby said on Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Friday. “The things we did in the [drafting] process all pointed in the same direction unequivocally, and when that happens, you feel very comfortable with the choice you’re making.”
After missing the playoffs for the second straight year and with two-time MVP Steve Nash’s place on the roster uncertain, Babby acknowledges that Phoenix is entering a rebuilding phase, and it starts with Marshall.
“We have a likelihood of some turbulent times ahead,” he said. “You need to have a guy with a steady hand who can represent us well on and off the court and will help steer us through those times.”
But what qualities does Marshall have that will guide the Suns from another inadequate season?
“Leadership, court vision, his ability to push the ball and be a true point guard and his absolute desire to be here,” explains Babby. “All of those things are the reason we took him.”
Critics of the selection cite the 20-year-old’s lack of quickness and his inability to shoot the ball, but Babby is assured Marshall is their man.