<
>

Marshall ready to help out at point

LOS ANGELES -- Kendall Marshall lasted 484 days with the Phoenix Suns between being selected with the No. 13 pick in the 2012 draft and being traded to the Washington Wizards shortly before the start of the 2013-14 season.

He lasted five days with the Wizards before being waived and then spent the next 51 days out of the NBA, playing with the Delaware 87ers in the D-League, hoping to make it back to the big show.

But once Marshall got wind that the Los Angeles Lakers were interested in him this week after Kobe Bryant went out with a fracture in his left knee, the point guard had to wait less than a minute for his NBA return to become official.

"My agent called me," Marshall said before the Lakers played the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday. "He filled me in on the possibility. I told him I definitely want to do it. He called me back maybe 30-40 seconds later and he told me I had a flight (to Los Angeles) at 9 o'clock."

With Bryant, as well as Steve Nash (nerve root irritation), Steve Blake (elbow) and Jordan Farmar (hamstring) all sidelined, Marshall joins a Lakers team that is starting Xavier Henry out of position at the point in the interim with a "committee" of Jodie Meeks, Nick Young and Marshall available for backup point guard duty, according to Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni.

Even though Marshall had been in L.A. less than a day after flying in from Austin, Texas, where he had been for a D-League game, he suited up in a No. 12 purple-and-gold uniform and was available to play against Minnesota.

D'Antoni tried to download Marshall with 5-6 plays during shootaround and said that his background in Phoenix with former D'Antoni assistant Alvin Gentry would help speed up the transition.

"They run similar [sets] to what we run, so, he's probably a little familiar with what we're doing," D'Antoni said.

The coach consulted with Gentry after the Lakers acquired Marshall and heard a lot of what he already suspected about the former lottery pick.

"He can run a team," D'Antoni said. "I think everybody knows, his shot's not the greatest thing in the world, but he had a great college career and is trying to find his footing in the NBA. We'll see what he's got."

Marshall averaged 3.0 points and 3.0 assists in his rookie season with the Suns while shooting just 37.1 percent from the field and 31.5 percent on 3-pointers. His numbers were dramatically better in the D-League, as he averaged 19.4 points and 9.6 assists while shooting 46.3 percent from deep in seven games.

"I think I do a pretty good job of getting guys involved," Marshall said. "I'm going to continue to do that. We have a lot of great scorers here so I want to make the most of that."

He figures that D'Antoni will help him do just that.

"You just look at his track record," Marshall said. "The guys that have been really successful underneath him –- Nash, Raymond Felton, Chris Duhon -- have all played their best basketball under him, so I guess that's comforting and I look to take full advantage to help this team the best I can."

And if it's not D'Antoni's system helping him, it will be the experience of the rest of the point guards on the Lakers' roster.

"I'm definitely excited," Marshall said. "Nash, Farmar as well as Blake, I feel like those are three very good point guards and I can learn a lot from them.

"I'm sure they'll think I'm annoying soon enough because I plan on asking them a lot of questions."

As long as he helps answer the question of who will step up at point guard for the Lakers, Marshall can ask anything he wants.