Brandon Davies, Jazz guard Scott Machado among most intriguing players to watch in NBA training camp
There will be plenty of intriguing storylines to follow as NBA teams hit the court to begin training camp.
Two of the more interesting stories to follow include ties to Utah teams, according to the national media.
Former BYU big man Brandon Davies and Utah Jazz point guard Scott Machado are listed as two of the top 10 most intriguing 2013 NBA training camp invites by Bleacher Report's Andy Bailey.
Davies signed with the L.A. Clippers early in September after playing for the team during summer-league action. Rant Sports' Cody Williams said Davies has sleeper potential, and the former Cougar could challenge for the third power forward role, behind all-star Blake Griffin and Antawn Jamison.
"Davies is a solid athlete who also has decent size and knows how to use the skills he has to find success," Williams wrote.
Bailey suggested that Davies has already shown he could have a better offensive game than current Clippers starting center DeAndre Jordan, though that doesn't mean he will be taking Jordan's job. Still, Davies provides Los Angeles with an intriguing option inside.
"At 6-foot-9, he may be a bit short, so Davies will have to use his length (7-foot-2 wingspan) and a lot of activity to bother opposing centers on both ends of the court," Bailey wrote.
"Doing so will be harder on defense, at least early on. Davies averaged a block per game as a senior, but he didn't do anything that would blow you away on that end."
During summer-league play, Davies averaged 5.8 points and four rebounds for the Clippers. He also started in the team's final game, scoring 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting and adding six rebounds, three steals, two assists and a blocked shot in Los Angeles' 91-80 loss to New York.
"It feels great, (but) I still need to bring it every day," Davies told L.A. Clippers TV reporter Madelyn Burke after signing his contract with Los Angeles. "Just to make it to this point is an amazing feeling."
Davis told Burke he's been working on broadening his range — he hit one 3-pointer during summer-league action but missed several others — while working out with the Clippers this summer.
"I'm definitely making strides that way and getting a lot more comfortable but at the same time during pickup and things like that (I'm) making sure my energy is high and making sure I am doing the little things," he said.
Machado has been many places in his young basketball career. After signing a multi-year non-guaranteed contract with the Houston Rockets following a strong showing at summer league in 2012, he was released by the Rockets. Machado then spent time in the D-League with Rio Grande Valley and Santa Cruz.
He finished the year with Golden State, playing sparingly for the Warriors during the postseason.
While Machado played for Golden State during summer league this year, the Warriors never re-signed him, and the Jazz added the young point guard to their roster last week.
"Utah may have traded up in the draft to land Trey Burke this summer, but his underwhelming performance in the summer league has some fans concerned," Bailey said of the new Jazz guard. "Bringing Machado in to compete at point guard could help."
Machado's inability to show he can score at the professional level has hindered him in his young career, though. During D-League play last year, he averaged 8.9 points per game.
"It's easier for defensive players to sag into and close off passing lanes when they know the ball-handler isn't a real threat to score," Bailey wrote. "If Machado can make defenses respect his offense, facilitating for others will be more natural."
Blog writer Tommy Dee, who writes for SB Nation's Ridiculous Upside, has followed Machado's career closely and said he is a pass-first point guard that is developing the ability to create his own shots.
"There are still questions as to whether he can defend two positions, and if he's capable of defending one, but right now his offensive ability is good enough to earn rotation minutes despite defense," Dee wrote. "Now it comes down to maturity, professionalism and focus. If Machado can perform like he did this summer, he'll find himself with an NBA job, and more importantly regular minutes, in Salt Lake City this season."
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @brandonljudd
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