Saturday, September 8, 2012

Machado Signs 3-Year Deal with NBA Rockets

You just knew it wasn't going to be long before last season's NCAA Division I assist king found a home in the NBA.

It happened this week when former Iona standout Scott Machado signed a three-year, partially guaranteed contract, with the Houston Rockets.

The contract, though, doesn't fully ensure that Machado will be on the team's roster at the start of the season.

Newly acquired Jeremy Lin appears set as the Rockets' starter at point guard, but there are several other point guards on the Rockets' roster.

They include Shaun Livingston, who was the No. 4 pick overall in the 2004 NBA draft directly from high school but has battled continued knee problems for much of his career (he averaged 5.5 points and 2.1 assists this past season; another former Knick, Tony Douglas (6.2 points, 2.0 assists last season) and team holdover Courtney Fortson, a late-season call-up from the Developmental League (he averaged 3.5 points and 1.0 assists in 10 NBA games last season).

Machado earned his spot in that competition by excelling in the Rockets' summer league games in July, particularly the last one he played. Although he averaged 8.0 points and 5.5 assists in 25.4 minutes per game over five contests he averaged 11.3 points and 7.3 assists in the last three of those. In the final game of summer-league play he turned in a 20-point, 6-assist performance including consecutive no-look passes on fast breaks late in that contest.

The 22-year old Machado averaged 9.9 assists at Iona last season, but went undrafted in this June's NBA draft.

"They know I'm a great passer," Machado told the Houston Chronicle newspaper. "I feel like every day I progressed and got better, just getting more comfortable and more used to the style of play and the pace of the game, the players around me."

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