Friday, June 29, 2012

MAAC Fails To Produce an NBA Draft Choice

The NBA draft has come and gone without a MAAC player selected, which is usually the case.

The best chance of a conference player being picked seemed to be Iona's senior point guard Scott Machado, who led the nation in assists this past season.

And while Machado was touted as a late first-round pick, by color commentator and ESPN on-air personality Doug Gottleib for his play in the early season Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament and a potential late second-round pick by some draft followers, his name did not get called Thursday night in the two-round draft.

Blame some of that on being a little on the small size (6-foot-1) and, maybe, on an inconsistent jump shot. But, Machado is sure to get invited by multiple teams to attend workouts and preseason camps.

The guess here is that he would be a potential fit for his hometown New York Knicks as well as the Knicks' Eastern Conference rival Boston Celtics.

Although he went undrafted, that might not be a major detriment. Now, as a free agent, he can pick the team he wants to join for a preseason camp, a situation that enables him to chose the best possible option for him to make an NBA roster.

The MAAC has had a decent run in recent NBA drafts, although the last league player selected was 6-11 center Jason Thompson, a first-round selection of the Sacramento Kings in 2008.

Before that, Marist point guard Jared Jordan was a second-round pick of the Los Angeles Clippers in 2007; And, Manhattan shooting guard Luis Flores was a second-round pick of the Houston Rockets in 2004.

Prior to that, though, there was a long dry spell for MAAC players who were drafted, going back to 1992 when La Salle guard Randy Woods was a first-round pick of the Clippers.

The last Iona player drafted was Steve Burtt Sr., a second-round pick of the Golden State Warriors in 1984.

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