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Mark Bechtel
October 30, 2000
The never-changing Jazz has actually made a change, and Donyell Marshall is darn happy about it
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October 30, 2000

5 Utah Jazz

The never-changing Jazz has actually made a change, and Donyell Marshall is darn happy about it

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Projected Lineup



1999-2000 KEY STATS


Bryon Russell


14.1 ppg

5.2 rpg

1.9 apg

1.56 spg

44.6 FG%


Karl Malone


25.5 ppg

9.5 rpg

3.7 apg

0.96 spg

50.9 FG%


Olden Polynice


5.3 ppg

5.5 rpg

1.02 bpg

51.0 FG%

31.1 FT%


John Starks


13.9 ppg

4.9 apg

2.7 rpg

37.5 FG%

34.5 3FG%


John Stockton


12.1 ppg

8.6 apg

1.74 spg

50.1 FG%

35.5 3FG%



1999-2000 KEY STATS


Donyell Marshall


14.2 ppg

10.0 rpg

1.06 spg

1.06 bpg

39.4 FG%


Danny Manning


4.6 ppg

2.9 rpg

1.0 apg

0.86 spg

44.0 FG%


Jacque Vaughn


3.7 ppg

1.6 apg

0.8 rpg

41.6 FG%

41.2 3FG%


Quincy Lewis


3.8 ppg

1.5 rpg

37.2 FG%

36.5 3FG%

73.1 FT%


Greg Ostertag


4.5 ppg

6.0 rpg

2.12 bpg

46.4 FG%

63.6 FT%

New acquisition
(R) Rookie (statistics for final college year)
*PVR: Player Value Ranking (explanation on page 113)

Among the least enviable jobs in sports is being the player counted on to rum the Golden State Warriors around. Just ask Chris Webber, who spent one miserable season with the Warriors before finding happiness and All-Star Game appearances elsewhere. Or ask human punch line Joe Barry Carroll, who became the standard by which bad draft picks are measured. Or ask Donyell Marshall. In February 1995 the Warriors traded forward Tom Gugliotta to the Timberwolves for the 6'9" Marshall, the fourth pick in the '94 draft, who arrived at Golden State with a fat contract (nine years, $42.6 million) and a midsection to match. While Googs was blossoming into, yes, an All-Star, Marshall was becoming a lightning rod for criticism, averaging 5.5 and 7.3 points in his first two full seasons at Golden State.

Though Marshall's numbers did improve, the Warriors' fortunes did not. He couldn't even bring his three sons to a Chuck E. Cheese in the Bay Area without some fan taking a break from his game of skee ball to tell him what a bum he was. About the closest thing to a compliment to come Marshall's way was a headline in the Oct. 17, 1999, San Francisco Examiner. HIGH-PRICED FORWARD WAS UNWANTED, BUT HE MAY PROVE TO BE A RELATIVE BARGAIN.

Now, after a nine-player, four-team trade, Marshall has left Golden State to join a team with two of the 50 greatest players ever. Thanks to Karl Malone and John Stockton, no one in Utah views Marshall as much more than a 27-year-old role player who might be able to help the Jazz get past the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1998. By playing small forward and allowing swingman Bryon Russell to move to the two, Marshall can help fill the void at shooting guard created by Jeff Hornacek's retirement. He'll also spell the 37-year-old Malone at power forward and give Utah some much-needed size. The Jazz pulled down 1.9 fewer rebounds per game than the league average last season; Marshall averaged 10.0 and, in scoring 14.2 points, was one of just eight players to average a double double. "Rebound, defend a little bit, shoot the open shot," says coach Jerry Sloan of Marshall's role. "In the past, in games we've had to win, we've had to go with a small lineup, and hopefully he'll help us out there."

"I'm gonna do a little bit of this, a little bit of that," Marshall says. "Everything's going to go through Karl and John. Everybody knows that."

Everybody has known that for 15 years, and nobody has been able to do much about it. But having Stockton, the league's alltime leader in assists and steals, and Malone, its third all-time leading scorer, doesn't come cheap. Their $27 million in salaries this year consumes a lot of cap room, so the Jazz struggled in the off-season to surround them with quality players. With the clock ticking on the two future Hall of Famers, Utah opted for veterans who could help immediately, such as 12th-year forward Danny Manning and 11th-year man John Starks, who will start at shooting guard.

Aside from rookie shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson, a 19-year-old first-round pick from Washington Union High in Fresno, Marshall is Utah's only new player who is not on the downside of his career. Whether the Jazz will build around him in the post-Stockton-and-Malone era depends on whether he shows he has grown up. "There was a time when things came easy to me," says Marshall. "Even in college I didn't work out that much in the summer. Once [after my rookie year] I came to camp out of shape, and it took its toll on me for two years, but in that time I learned a lot. I learned I really love the game. Every year, I think I've progressed."

Given the state of the Warriors, learning what not to do was about as much as could have been expected of Marshall. But now, for the first time in his pro career, he is surrounded by players from whom he can learn what to do. "We have a lot of fun here," Marshall says. "We say hi to each other. In Golden State, nobody said anything."

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]