Point guard Kendall Marshall (12), who played for the Phoenix Suns last… ( Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty…)
NBA rookies are guaranteed a two-year contract if they're drafted in the first round.
But Kendall Marshall was done after one unremarkable season with the Phoenix Suns. He was traded in October to Washington as part of a larger deal and promptly waived by the Wizards.
The Lakers, though, desperate for point guard help, signed him to a nonguaranteed deal. He might play Friday against Minnesota.
"It's been a roller-coaster," Marshall said. "I've kind of seen some of the down sides of the league as well as some of the good sides. But I'm more aware now. I'm more grateful. Humbled by the opportunity."
The 13th pick in the 2012 NBA draft was averaging 19.4 points and 9.6 assists for the Delaware 87ers of the NBA's Development League. He received word of the Lakers' interest while hanging around a hotel room in Texas. The 87ers were about to play the Austin Toros.
Marshall said there was "no question" he would be ready to play against the Timberwolves if called upon.
"It's something I've definitely excited about," he said.
All three Lakers' point guards are injured (Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar) and Kobe Bryant, who had been filling in since his return from an Achilles' tendon injury, will be out at least six weeks because of a fractured knee.
Xavier Henry will start at point guard Friday. Nick Young and Jodie Meeks will share backup duties, with Marshall possibly playing too, D'Antoni said.
"What he'll bring is good ball-handling. He's a very heady basketball player," Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni said. "He's improved his shot."
Marshall averaged three points and three assists in 48 games with the Suns last season.
He has watched numerous Lakers games because he knows several of the players.
"I love the way they play," he said. "I think they're a lot more enjoyable to watch this year. I have some friends that were already here playing, so being able to watch them and being able to see them excel, being that maybe it didn't go as well the past couple years, it felt good for me to see that."
Marshall expanded his thoughts.
"They look like they really enjoy playing together," he said. "Any team that plays together, you want to be a part of."
Marshall played last season in Phoenix with the Lakers' Wesley Johnson. He played AAU basketball with Henry and played against Ryan Kelly numerous times in college. Marshall went to North Carolina, Kelly to Duke.
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