The Phoenix Suns have assigned Kendall Marshall to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League, according to a team release.
Marshall was the 13th overall pick in this year’s draft, but has been unable to crack the rotation with Goran Dragic and Sebastian Telfair being more legitimate options while the team’s season is still worth fighting for.
After the Suns were dropped by 40 in Detroit on Wednesday is when Marshall received the news, which he’s trying his best to take as a positive.
“I’m trying to look at it as a positive – a time to get better, get reps up and stay in shape,” Marshall said. “I don’t know if anybody thinks of this as a possibility coming out of college but, for some people, it’s part of the process and everybody has to take a different path.”
“They want me to keep up my conditioning, as well as getting game time,” Marshall said of what Suns General Manager Lance Blanks told him Wednesday night. “They think this will be good for me. Other than tonight, the team hasn’t been too bad. Sebastian and Goran have been playing well so there won’t be many minutes as of right now. So to stay in game shape and get some reps, they thought that would be the best thing for me to do.”
The D-League has a bad reputation among fans, likely because the majority of teams are in extremely small markets, and the league isn’t marketed at all, really, so no one sees the games.
The new partnership with YouTube may change that over time, but fans’ perceptions aside, it’s a solid place for young players like Marshall who aren’t quite NBA-ready to work on their game and develop those skills.
The Spurs fell behind by 18 and eventually lost to the Bulls, 95-91, last night – which begged the question:
Does San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich bear any responsibility for his team’s lack of early intensity?
Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News:
I don’t remember playing tonight. I didn’t play. Guys get a lot of money to be ready to play. No Knute Rockne speeches. It’s your job. If you’re a plumber and you don’t do your job, you don’t get any work. I don’t think a plumber needs a pep talk. If a doctor botches operations, he’s not a doctor anymore. If you’re a basketball player, you come ready. It’s called maturity. It’s your job.
Like it or not, motivation is part of an NBA coach’s job.
But that’s also precisely what Popovich is doing.
His credentials dwarf any other coach’s. He can play to his own ego and absolve himself of responsibility – and players will seek to please him. His years of success have earned him the ability to motivate this way, a method no other coach could use without alienating his team.
Once the Rockets let Donatas Motiejunas back into free agency, this was only a matter of time.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
This sounds remarkably similar to the salaries and incentives set in the original offer sheet from the Nets. But remember, the Rockets didn’t match some of those bonuses that Brooklyn would have been bound to.
So, why not hold Motiejunas to what became a four-year, $31 million offer sheet once matched? Houston got something in return – a later trigger date on guaranteeing Motiejunas’ 2017-18 salary. Originally, that decision had to be made March 1 – which would’ve meant dropping Motiejunas from the team this season to prevent his salary from counting next season. Now, the Rockets can make that call in July, after this season is complete.
The following two Julys, Houston will also have a choice on guaranteeing Motiejunas’ upcoming salary or dropping him.
Essentially, Motiejunas is signing the most lucrative Hinkie Special in NBA history. If he plays well and stays healthy, the Rockets have Motiejunas at an affordable rate. If he struggles or his back injuries flare up, they can drop him with little to no penalty.
After they backed themselves into this corner, Motiejunas and his agent, B.J. Armstrong, didn’t do so bad. Considering the similarity between this contract and the Nets’ original offer sheet, it seems Houston helped Armstrong save face after a bungled free agency (which is easier to accept when you’re adding a talented reserve to a formidable team).
But for how little is guaranteed and how much control the Rockets hold over the next four years, wouldn’t Motiejunas have been better off accepting the $4,433,683 qualifying offer?
The Rockets had Donatas Motiejunas in a bind.
He was beholden to them on a four-year, $31 million deal and unable to sign with other teams. Motiejunas’ choices: Report for a physical or wait in limbo.
But apparently Houston has allowed him out of that constraint.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
This means Motiejunas can’t sign with the Nets, who signed him to the original offer sheet, for one year.
I bet it also means Motiejunas and Houston have agreed to a new contract. Otherwise, why release him from the offer sheet? The Rockets would be giving up a tremendous amount of leverage out of the goodness of their hearts – unless this is just a prelude to a new deal with Houston.