Indiana could be looking to move up in the NBA Draft as we inch toward draft night on Thursday. Mike Wells thinks that The Pacers won't be at 26 once the draft rolls around. That brings us to the chance of trading up. I start off this series with a point guard who is pass-first and loves to get his teammates involved. That player is Kendall Marshall out of North Carolina.
He could be exactly what the Pacers need, a player who isn't selfish and would be willing to pass every time down the floor. I don't remember the last time Indiana has had a floor general. The Pacers tend to have the score-first point guards like George Hill, Darren Collison, T.J. Ford, and so on. Could it be time for a change of philosophy with a passing point guard?
Check out after the jump the positives and negatives of Marshall's game. Also, the chances that we move up to select him on Thursday night.
Marshall has an exceptional basketball IQ. He loves to pass it off to his teammates instead of taking the scoring glory by himself. He plays a step ahead of the defense with a crazy 50% assist ratio which means that half the time he passes he gets an assist! Think how good that translates to the next level? Kendall has incredible court vision and plays solid in the pick-and-roll while also displabeing a solid perimeter shooter who could have continued success in the NBA. He loves to push the tempo and penetrate inside when his number is called upon. Marshall has a quick burst and fast hands that could make him a great steal maestro on the next level.
Kendall is not a player without flaws, though. He's not an elite athlete with average athleticism at best. Sometimes Marshall gets caught forcing the ball to his teammates and averaged three turnovers a game last season. He's very slow to recover on defense and will get blown by against quicker guys on the fast break. He will have to use his IQ to his advantage to get by on defense. Kendall tends to struggle in isolation as well.
After all of that, here's some videos on his strength (passing) and weakness (defense):
Marshall seems like a perfect fit here with the Pacers where he could start off in the second unit, or what I believe, immediately take over as the starting point guard right away. The Pacers need a pass-first point guard to get by the elite teams like Miami to reach the finals next season and beyond. George Hill is better suited to come off the bench and be a backup to Paul George as a shooting guard. Marshall could help out Danny Granger get better crisp passes and have a quicker chance to shoot. Also, he would open it up more for Roy Hibbert and David West down low.
Indiana was one of the worst teams in the regular season and playoffs in the assits department. Marshall's basketball IQ and his passing skills would make this team so much better right off the bat. Even as a rookie, I could see Marshall succeeding in Frank Vogel's inside-out system or as some Pacers fans like to call it "smash mouth basketball."
If Indiana were to package Darren Collison and move up into the 10-16 range, I could see the Pacers selecting Marshall. As mentioned, he's a perfect fit in this system. I think the chances that they move up and select Marshall is 45%.
What are your thoughts about Kendall Marshall and how he could fit in with the Pacers? Should the Pacers move up to select him? Leave a comment down below and express your thoughts about Marshall and possibly trading up on draft night.