PHOENIX, Ariz. – With Steve Nash’s future uncertain, the Phoenix Suns began preparations with life without the two-time MVP.
The Suns drafted point guard Kendall Marshall from North Carolina with the 13th pick in the 2012 NBA draft on Thursday.
“We are ecstatic,” Suns general manager Lance Blanks said. “Kendall represents where we are as an organization.”
Marshall averaged 7.2 points and 8.0 in two seasons with the Tar Heels. The 20-year-old won the Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s top point guard in his sophomore season, leading the country in assists with 9.8 per game.
“We did not get Kendall for his athleticism,” Blanks said. “We all have pluses and minus, as does Kendall. We got him for his brain and his ability to make people better.”
Marshall is a pure point guard with outstanding vision and instincts, but his stock fell leading up to the draft. Many questioned his outside shooting and his ability to defend.
The Suns appeared to have interest in Terrence Ross, Jermey Lamb and Austin Rivers, but all three players were selected before the Suns were on the clock. Regardless, Phoenix is happy with the player the team ended up with.
“He represents everything we want to be about,” Blanks said. “Most importantly, when you look at it background, he’s a winner. And that’s what we want to be. He’s going to bring that mentality here.”