"Kendall represents where we are as an organization,'' Suns general manager Lance Blanks said following the pick. "Don't read too far into it as far as free agency, but he represents everything we want to be about in a player and a person. But most importantly, if you look back in his history, he's a winner, and that's exactly what we want to be here, winners.''
Marshall represents UNC’s ACC-leading 42nd first round draft pick and the school’s 99th draft pick overall.
"I'm extremely blessed and fortunate," Marshall said. "My skills go hand-in-hand with what Phoenix likes to do."
Marshall’s record-setting career at North Carolina was cut short fractured the scaphoid bone in his right wrist during UNC’s third-round NCAA Tournament game against Creighton on Mar. 18. The Dumfries, Va. native informed reporters at the pre-draft combine in Chicago earlier this month that he also had fractured his elbow in the fall at Greensboro Coliseum.
Marshall won the 2012 Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation’s top point guard, and was tabbed as a first-team All-America by CBSSports.com. He set the ACC's single-season assist record as a sophomore in 2011-12 with 351, good for fourth-most in NCAA history.
His other records include ACC single-single marks in assists per game (9.75) and double-figure assist games (17), as well as the school record in assists per game (7.96). Marshall is also the ACC’s career leader in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.01).
“He was in my office yesterday for an hour and he probably didn’t sleep that much last night because he’s so excited by this next stage of his career,” the UNC coach Roy Williams said. “We hoped that he would go to a club that liked to run because that’s the best part of his game. That’s not to mean that he can’t play in a different situation, but he’s the best passer I’ve ever had on the break.
“He’s sneaky quick. His basketball savvy, ability to pass the ball, see the floor and make instantaneous decisions is just off the charts. He’s just incredibly savvy out there in the backcourt. He’s going to provide the Phoenix fans a lot of oohs and aahs for many years.”