Apr 8, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash (10) is congratulated by guard Kendall Marshall (12) after passing Mark Jackson (not pictured) to move into third on the all-time NBA assist list in the second quarter against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers: Forgetting Kendall Marshall

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After the successful amnesty waiver claim of former Bulls power forward, Carlos Boozer, the Los Angeles Lakers needed to clear some cap room for him, which meant denouncing the rights to and waiving multiple players. One player who was waived was point guard Kendall Marshall.

There is a reason why the Phoenix Suns gave up on him so quickly two years ago. He can shoot it from distance well. He shot 39% this past season, but only 41% from two pointers, which is not going to cut it as a starter. His defense, ever since playing at UNC, has always been suspect. Playing under Mike D’Antoni last season did not help that, either.

Marshall filled in admirably during some of the time that Steve Nash was injured, however. He’s a brilliant passer and racked up plenty of assists and found his way to the hoop at times. He was able to make players around him better with a weak supporting cast that had players like Nick Young, Wesley Johnson, and Xavier Henry starting games.

The former UNC guard still has time to develop a better game inside the arc as well. If he could have done it in a Laker uniform, there was a chance he’d become a decent starter in this league. However, with the Lakers acquiring Jeremy Lin in a trade with the Houston Rockets, it was clear that Marshall may not get the opportunity he had last year.

He was the odd one out to clear a total of about 900K to make room for the Boozer waiver claim, an amount that took up $3.2 million. Along with other acquisitions, he was deemed expendable. The Lakers hoped to re-sign him, but it was known immediately that Marshall would not clear waivers. The Milwaukee Bucks scooped him up to team at point guard with Brandon Knight and Nate Wolters. He will have to fight for his minutes. First, behind Wolters, who at his moments last season but did not wow anyone. Knight turned in a solid season last year, but you cannot expect him to put up 17 points per game again. If Marshall impresses Jason Kidd and company, you could see Knight moved to shooting guard to accommodate a change. His stat lines would increase as well, depending on how many minutes he gets. The talent in Milwaukee is young and raw, but better than what he had in the Staples Center last year.

If Marshall gets an opportunity for extended minutes in Milwaukee and shows improvement, the Lakers could have a tough time forgetting about him. It could also result in him getting his first real pay day next off-season, too, as his contract only runs through next season. We will see what he can do first with this young Bucks team.

 

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Tags: Kendall Marshall Los Angeles Lakers Milwaukee Bucks NBA Free Agency

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