Sunday Links: Are The Rockets Closing In On Carlos Delfino?

Future Rocket?

In this segment, I'm going to take you through the noteworthy stories from the previous day, accompanied by a few of my daily musings.

After losing seven of their ten rotation players from last season, one would expect the Rockets to go into training camp in need of depth. One quick glance at the 21 players on the roster would immediately tell you otherwise. Through draft picks, trades, and signings, the Rockets have built up a remarkable amount of depth, and likely will have to trade or release a promising player or two just to get down to the required 15 man roster.

Today, we'll look at one competition for a rotation spot that figures to have a lot of intrigue going into training camp, the backup point guard spot. Let's run down the options:

Shaun Livingston:

Livingston will forever be remembered for his horrific knee injury, but he has made a pretty decent comeback over the past two seasons, becoming a steady backup point guard. Despite a loss of athleticism, he still has a great court vision, can score in the post, and defend. Outside of that, however, he struggles. He never has been a good shooter and has all but given up on his jump shot, struggles to run an offense, and has had problems forcing passes into tight spots. In spite of his shortcomings, I'd label him the favorite to land the backup job as of this point.

Toney Douglas:

If you watched Toney Douglas last season, you'd know why the Knicks were happy to get rid of him in a sign-and-trade for Marcus Camby. After two promising seasons, he completely lost his mojo. As a point guard whose best attribute was his spot-up shooting, having his jumper disappear was not the best thing for his career. Defensively, he remains excellent, but if he can't give you anything on offense, there's little reason for him to be on the roster.

Scott Machado:

Mr. Wild Card. As you'll see in the links after the jump, Machado is not lacking anything in confidence at this point. He's an excellent passer, especially in transition, and has become a good shooter in recent years. Defensively, he does have a lot of questions to answer, as he rarely was asked to match-up on other point guards in man-to-man defense at Iona. If he makes the squad, he will be one to watch.

In the end, I expect Livingston to win the job, but you can't sleep on Scott Machado. The Rockets made a mistake in cutting an undrafted point guard last training camp, and you know they'll be wary of making the same mistake twice.

Jump for your links!

Rockets Stuff

Jeremy Lin Doesn't Impress Iona's Scott Machado, Now Playing For Houston Rockets Summer League Team - NY Daily News
At the very least, Scott Machado is confident. Let's hope that he isn't a distraction if he makes the squad.

Bad By Design, Rockets Gamble On Long-Term Payoff - NYTimes.com
Peter May has a story for the New York Times on the Rockets' plans to return to contention. He makes a comparison to the Boston Celtics model that I hadn't seen anywhere else.

Donatas Motiejunas And Love At First Sight
Ian Jacoby writes about his love for Donatas Motiejunas' game.

My Sports Legion: Rockets And Carlos Delfino Finalizing A Deal
I'm very skeptical about this report, but I figured I'd put it out there for you all. The timing is very odd, with Argentina in the Olympics and set to face off against Lithuania today. I wouldn't be surprised to see Delfino become a Rocket this summer, but I think "finalizing a deal" is probably an overreaching report.

Around The League

Best Of The Rest: Remaining NBA Free Agents On The Market - CBSSports.com
Matt Moore runs down the best free agents still on the market. Spoiler: It's pretty thin pickings.

Orlando Magic Tap Ex-Spurs Assistant Jacque Vaughn As Head Coach - ESPN
As expected, the Magic officially announced Jacque Vaughn will be their next head coach. With that bit of business taken care of, I wonder what they'll take care of next?

NBA Schedule A Complicated Work Of Balancing Logistics And Popularity | The Point Forward
Zach Lowe reminding us that the NBA isn't out to get any one team.

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