Is Devyn Marble’s NBA dream over?
After being the 56th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and spending two seasons with the Orlando Magic, Devyn Marble is heading overseas this year. The former Iowa Hawkeye that was named to the All-Big Ten First Team as a senior in 2014 will have to prove his way back into the NBA.
Marble was a dominating shooting guard during his four years with the Hawkeyes. He finished top-10 in school history in points, assists and steals. As Marble improved every season, he finished his senior season averaging 17 points, 3.6 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He led Iowa to a 20-13 season, as he and his dad, Roy Marble, became the only father-son duo in Iowa history to each score 1,000 points in their respective careers.
Roy Marble was one of the best basketball players in Iowa’s history. He averaged 20.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game as a senior in 1988-89 for the Hawkeyes. Although, despite being drafted in the first round by the Atlanta Hawks, he was never able to make a name for himself in the NBA. He only played in 29 total NBA games, making it somewhat ironic that both he and his son had historic careers at Iowa but had a hard time finding a place in the NBA.
Still, Devyn Marble’s NBA dream may not be over. He was originally drafted by the Denver Nuggets but was traded to the Orlando Magic a day later. Although, this offseason, Marble was sent to the Los Angeles Clippers and was immediately waived – the purpose of the trade being for the Clippers to clear up cap space.
Over his two seasons, Marble bounced up-and-down from the NBA and D-League. He has played in 44 NBA games, starting seven, but also has 20 D-League games to his résumé. Marble could have stuck in the D-League, again, although there was more money overseas.
He signed to play with Aris Thessaloniki in Greece, a team in the A1 Euro Basketball League. In Europe they have multiple leagues, A1 being the highest and the C League being the worst of them. The last thing Marble wanted was to sign in a mid-tier league that wouldn’t get a lot of attention from NBA scouts. For a player who couldn’t find his niche in the NBA, proving he can be a dominating player in Greece is how he’ll earn another shot.
While a summer league or training camp invite is possible over the next couple of years, as he is only 23-years-old, actually making an NBA roster will be the hard part. Sure, he’s only 23-years-old and the scoring and defense that he showed at Iowa was impressive, but he had a rough NBA career.
While he did record 22 steals in minimal time, becoming at least a reliable scorer will be his ticket back in the NBA. Providing solid defense won’t be enough for him to earn the 15th spot on a roster. Teams will want him to show the ability to be an offensive spark off the bench if called upon, similar to how many viewed his offensive game coming out of Iowa.
Devyn Marble didn’t show that during his two seasons with the Magic. He shot a miserable 30.4 percent from the field and an even worse 22.2 percent from three. Even though Marble was never the most efficient scorer at Iowa – 41.5 field-goal percentage, 33.8 three-point percentage – those percentages would have been good enough to give solid production off the bench if called upon.
Sure, the lack of consistent minutes could have impacted his shot, although even when he saw consistent playing time he wasn’t able to string together solid shooting. Over his seven career starts in which he saw 23.1 minutes per game, Marble shot just 31.3 percent from the field and an even worse 21.1 percent from three.
In order for Marble to shoot over 35 percent from the field, he had to play between 30-39 minutes – 45.5 percent shooting in two games. Although, he shot just 27.3 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from three over the eight games he played 20-29 minutes in.
Granted these are all extremely small sample sizes, that’s the norm for second round picks. Second rounders aren’t guaranteed a spot on the roster, let alone playing time. Being on a short string, Marble had to make an immediate impact, but he didn’t. Maybe not the minutes he saw at Iowa but seven starts as a rookie was a good chance for him.
However, his 20 games in the D-League does show a glimmer of hope. While only shooting 38.1 percent from the field, he did find his three-point shot as he connected on 34.4 percent of his three-point attempts. Although, his ability to take over games on both ends stands out the most. He averaged a solid 14.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. His 13.4 shot attempts per game is telling that Marble was the aggressive offensive player NBA teams will want him to be if given a bench role.
With that being said, NBA teams have seen how he performs at the NBA level. That could give him somewhat of a disadvantage as a team on the fence of signing him could opt towards a younger player still searching for their NBA shot. However, like previously mentioned, Marble is in the right position to make an NBA comeback.
He’s playing on one of the top teams in Greece alongside Jerel McNeal, played six games with the Phoenix Suns, and Will Cummings, a D-League All-Star. Even though they aren’t big names, they are recognizable which helps the reputation of the team Marble is playing on. Seeing Marble in summer league or at training camp next season wouldn’t surprise me, although that would also be a risky move for him if he’s not guaranteed a roster spot.
There was a good chance that Marble could have fought for a roster spot this season, like former Hawkeye Jarrod Uthoff. Although, if he failed to make the roster then he’d be in the D-League for another season making significantly less than he would have playing overseas. Therefore, while the desire to return to the NBA is surely there, it does come with some risk financially – why Aaron White chose to play overseas.
It seems that Marble had his shot but couldn’t run with it. It’s a shame to see that from a talented collegiate shooting guard, but the former second round pick’s career will likely stay overseas. Unless he really catches a team’s eye, it’s a good thing he found a good spot in Greece in their highest league.