Prior to the draft, I was one of the biggest Scott Machado proponents on the internet.
I salivated at his point guard prowess, his efficiency and his success running a high octane offense. Iona scored 114.8 points per 100 possessions in his senior season, which ranked them as the ninth most efficient offense in Division I.
Rarely do point guards excel in these offenses without turning the ball over frequently. 22.5% of Machado’s possessions ended with a turnover; Machado did, however, assist on 44.2% of his possessions which is an excellent indicator that he can run a NBA offense. Only Kendall Marshall and Tim Frazier were more proficient passers.
So when the San Antonio Spurs had the opportunity to select Machado, who was projected to be selected at the 54th pick according to Draft Express, I thought it was a no brainer. Instead they opted with Marcus Denmon. I thought it was a minor misstep, however minimal, and Machado went undrafted.
In an interview with Fabio Balassiano of the Portugeese site Bala na Cesta, Machado said he rejected the Spurs’ inqueries at the No. 59 pick. He did so because he did not want to spend time in Europe, an avenue San Antonio routinely relies on to develop their younger players.
“It was quite funny, because the San Antonio Spurs wanted me at 59, and I ended up refusing. I told Aylton (Tesch, his agent) that I would rather try my luck in Summer League, because he knew the Spurs were going to send me away from the United States, something I did not want to do. It was a quick decision, even at the time, and it paid off. Soon after the Houston Rockets called me to play.”
While it would have been nice to potentially add Machado to the roster, it worked out best for both parties. Machado earned a roster spot with the Rockets and the Spurs’ backcourt rotation remains well stocked with valuable contributors.
Hat-tip to Lucas Pastore of Spurs Brasil.