LAS VEGAS – Through all the backcourt additions that the Phoenix Suns made this offseason, Kendall Marshall stayed in the gym, pinpointing two areas for improvement. In the midst of speculation about his future, Marshall has envisioned himself growing in the backcourt with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe, Shannon Brown and Malcolm Lee, remaining confident he fits into the Suns’ future.
“I’m excited about the team,” Marshall told RealGM. “I know we’re going to play fast next year, and I’m looking forward to that. I have to find my place throughout preseason and throughout training camp to showcase that I can contribute.”
Marshall shot just 37.1 percent from the field in his rookie season, lacking the arc and stability to have faith in his jumper in a given game. Nevertheless, he’s spent the offseason putting up “lots of shots” in Phoenix and summer league, as well as an elevated plan to get stronger.
“The two things that I’ve been really been working on is my body and my jump shot, doing a lot of it,” Marshall said. “I can see some improvements, but I got to continue to make strides if I want to be a contributor on a team.”
For Marshall, being part of trade speculation hasn’t brought frustration, and the 21-year-old isn’t worrying about whether he could be dealt.
“That’s out of my control. All I can control is how hard I work and what I do when I’m on the court,” Marshall told RealGM. “That’s all I’m worried about. Only thing I’m worried about is playing.”
The Suns know assisting has always been easeful in Marshall’s game, but now both sides understand the importance of developing a respectable scoring game – built around a reliable jump shot. Marshall has discussed with the new coaching staff how an ability to hit shots can improve the team’s offense.
“I just want to continue to get better, continue to play consistently and be a threat offensively,” Marshall said. “I already know passing is a thing that comes easy. If I can score a little bit more, that will help open things up for my team.”