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OSU PG Gary Payton II signed by The Houston Rockets

Gary Payton II has been signed by The Houston Rockets as an undrafted free-agent.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The back-to-back Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Gary Payton II, has been signed by The Houston Rockets to a three-year deal.

He will look to carve out a role for himself with The Rockets as a defensive ball-hawk with a growing offensive skill-set. He should fit in perfectly next to James Harden as a defensive-minded point guard.

Payton was a late-bloomer who found his passion for basketball later in life. But, has steadily improved from prep school to junior college until eventually landing at Oregon State. He became the unquestioned leader despite his quiet demeanor and took over as the Beavers' primary point guard and playmaker leading the team in scoring and assists during his Senior year.

Despite all of Payton's accolades the most impressive accomplishment might have been leading Oregon State to its first NCAA tournament since 1990. Way back when his father, NBA Hall-of-Famer Gary Payton, donned The Beaver Orange.

He struggled with consistency shooting the ball at Oregon State. He made only 30.2 percent of his three-point attempts and 65.2 percent of his free throws. And at 23 years of age he is older than many NBA rookie prospects.

But, there is precedent for struggling shooters to improve once they reach the NBA; most notably Kawhi Leonard. He shot only 25% on three-pointers at San Diego State, according to But last year for The San Antonio Spurs he shot 43.3% from three-point land.

Payton's athleticism and upside are very intriguing despite his weaknesses. In fact, Payton posted a 38.5-inch vertical leap at the NBA combine, tied for the event's seventh-best mark. The Rockets could have just gotten a steal considering Gary Payton II was a projected 2nd round pick.

Gary Payton II is expected to compete on The Rockets summer league team.

Here's their upcoming Summer League schedule (all times Pacific):

-Saturday July 8th: 5 pm -- Houston vs Atlanta

-Sunday July 10th: 3:30 pm -- Houston vs Sacramento

-Monday July 11th: 3 pm -- Houston vs D-League

Tune in to watch Gary Payton II in action!