Suns send rookie Kendall Marshall to the D-League

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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.

From Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic:

“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.”

Marshall is going to say all the right things here, and the reality is, he needs to work on developing his game to get it to where he can hang at the NBA level. Having seen some of the drills that player development coach Lindsay Hunter has Marshall running through before games on the main floor at the US Airways Center, I can tell you that he’s going to need much more than that to be able to play in an NBA rotation consistently.

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.