Apparently, the Hornets have decided to go ahead and fill their 14th (and "last") roster spot by bringing back Marks.
Perspicacity or buffoonery?
I'd preface any analysis by mentioning that this (obviously) won't make too much of a difference. This is the fourth or maybe fifth big spot we're talking about here. Injuries do happen, but no team is counting on its fourth big to play meaningful minutes if a starter goes down.
That said, the first assumption is that the Hornets were never going to exceed the minimum for the 14th player. That doesn't take much explaining. The second is that the Hornets needed to get a big. Done and done.
Some of the decision probably came down to Marks "knowing the system." I generally consider that one of the most overused terms in basketball, but it might have some meaning here. I don't mean that in statistical terms or any other useful way. Even the stupidest player in the league is probably going to pick up a decent understanding of the "system" within the first month. Essentially, I hate seeing guys botch awesome passes from Chris Paul, and that's the only reason I like this. Marks may not jump the highest or spring the fastest, but he knows when to roll, when to cut, and so forth. He should preserve a few more clips for the end of the season CP highlight reel.
Defensively, Marks will provide some value as well. He did a decent job against taller post players last year. More importantly, he really evolved as a fouler as the year went on. I do mean that slightly tongue-in-cheek, but I also don't. His fouls were often hard ones that prevented opponents from scoring easy layups. There were a few stupid three point plays he ceded, but in general, he did a good job of wrapping guys up. A lot of people will say that the 4th big just has to be a tall dude that can provide 6 fouls... but the quality of those fouls can vary greatly. We know what we're getting from The Kiwi there.
The overall numbers- PER, true shooting, foul rates- are certainly not pretty. There's no upside, especially not the kind that would accompany a Richard Hendrix type D-Leaguer. But we know what he'll produce, and there's nothing terribly wrong with paying the league minimum to get that.