NBL guard hints at extending his stay
All NBL First Team member Scott Machado has provided the strongest indication yet his long-term future lies in the Far North.
Last week, NBL coach of the year Mike Kelly admitted the club would "love" to extend Machado for a second season as contract negotiations heat up with the instrumental floor general.
Speaking from the NBL finals launch in Melbourne on Monday morning, the 29-year-old Machado said he was focusing on a deep finals run now but was open to "a couple more years" in Cairns.
"Of course, it is something that is possible," Machado said.
"It is definitely an option that I am very considered of.
"I am just trying to focus on us trying to make a run right now and when we get this done, maybe plan on doing it for a couple more years."
The Taipans have handed Machado a "very competitive" offer and are actively trying to retain their playing group, which has driven them up the ladder this season.
If Machado was to extend in Cairns, it would follow what now two-time league MVP winner Bryce Cotton has done in Perth.
The shooting guard, Cotton, edged out Machado for NBL MVP honours on Sunday night and originally signed a three-year deal to return to the Wildcats in the middle of 2018.
Having your American star player and face of the franchise locked in has significant benefits, according to Perth Wildcats captain Damian Martin.
"Knowing his skill set and not having to make time to adjust to him and a new player, we know exactly what we are going to get from Bryce," Martin said.
"When your best player has full buy-in, wants to win a championship and is your hardest trainer - it goes a long way to being able to hold other people accountable when your team MVP is doing all the work.
"Bryce has been brilliant but having him as a long-term teammate now, has been a big part of the core of why we have had so much success."
Martin, who will lead the Wildcats against the Snakes later this month, thinks a long-term deal for Machado makes perfect sense.
"If I was in charge of Cairns and Scott wanted to come back, I would be giving him a three-year deal," Martin said.
Hoops broadcasting doyen John Casey recently revealed that Cairns had offered the biggest contract in club history to retain Machado.
Throughout the 2019-20 season, Machado, who is leading the league in assists, has spoken of his love of Cairns, but also his desire to eventually return to the NBA.
At Sunday's award, Machado did not leave empty-handed, claiming Fans MVP, presented by Chemist Warehouse.