It has been reported that the Houston Rockets have sent rookies Royce White, Donatas Motiejunas and Scott Machado to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA D-League.
Royce White missed most of training camp and it was obvious he was way behind in development with his play, his teammates and coaching staff. White’s anxiety issues are still a hot topic surrounding him. This may have something to do with him being demoted. This could give him a chance to play and get some professional experience.
Donatas Motiejunas had a very up and down Summer League and training camp. He has the skills to be an amazing NBA player but he doesn’t have the strength or size to bang with the other big men in the league. D-Mo needs to get in the weight room and beef up. He also needs to learn how to play strong. Once he does that he will be fine.
Scott Machado being sent down is kind of surprising in my opinion. Out of these three guys I thought he would be the first to get significant playing time. Toney Douglas has shown no signs of improving as Jeremy Lin’s backup. I expected Machado to get a crack at stealing the job, but the Rockets decided it was best to develop him with the Vipers. This could potentially be an extended training camp for him. Get Machado a little more professional experience and if Douglas continues to struggle, Houston can bring him back up and give him the shot I think he deserves.
The Rockets have not said what the reason was for sending these guys down, so I’m only assuming these are the reasons. Houston is not shy about sending rookies to the D-League. They’ve done it with Aaron Brooks, Patrick Patterson and Marcus Morris. All three guys are in rotations in the NBA.