With D-League teams going through the motions during training camp this month, their respective NBA affiliates are beginning to send its young prospects down at this opportune time.
One of the more promising young guns to get sent to the minors this week was the Rockets' Scott Machado, who will spend time with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Such an assignment just seems like another logical step in the former Iona College star's early NBA journey. Despite all the hype in the Big Apple surrounding the local product heading into the NBA Draft, Machado watched as two rounds went by without a selection.
But the talent level is undoubtedly there. In a league full of offensive scoring superstars, Machado should eventually fit in well as he balances a lineup with some steady playmaking ability. Such a pure point guard, the Queens native prides his game around two simple strengths: getting his teammates involved, and staying alert with impressive man-to-man defense.
After going undrafted, it was clear Machado would need to prove his worth if he wanted to gain an opportunity. And that's exactly what he did. Vying for a spot in NBA training camp, the guard turned heads in Las Vegas, averaging 8 points, dishing out 5.6 assists, and grabbing 2.2 steals through five contests.
Machado's efforts caught Houston's eye enough to not only bring him into camp, but also reward him with a multi-year contract.
While the contract itself likely has a respective non-guaranteed clause or two, it's clear someone in Houston believes in the potential Machado has. Giving him multi-year deal only proves they believe the guard will use that time wisely to work on developing his skills.
And what better place for such progress to be made but the NBA D-League? With such a special skill set, Machado should emerge as one of the stronger talents in the NBADL. He'll run the floor efficiently, surely building bonds with his teammates to understand how to get them the ball in all the right spots.
But just how long will Machado be donning a Vipers uniform? With an array of other point guards on the Rockets, playing time in The Association may be hard to come by in Houston. By hitting the hardwood in Rio Grande Valley, the Iona product simply receives an opportunity that may not currently be available to him in the NBA. Just as it was in Las Vegas this summer, a little more time on the court may be all Machado needs to remind (in this case, the Rockets' staff) others of what they're missing out.
Machado doesn't seem to mind one bit, either. In addition to talking favorably about the assignment itself, the guard worked out with a bevy of fellow NBADLers this summer as they all sought out some sort of spot, and even voiced his support for a couple notables prior the D-League Draft.
While many NBA hopefuls use the minors to get noticed, Machado can relax, knowing full-well, he has that big league security. All he has to do is hit the D-League hardwood to prove to the Rockets' they made the right investment. Should he do that, he may return to Houston quite soon.