Earlier, we took a closer look at a potential option for the Knicks at pick #48 with a rundown of Syracuse point guard Scoop Jardine. Jardine has a history playing big games in Madison Square Garden already with the Orange, so Knicks fans should be very familiar with his abilities and what he can do against elite competition.
One option that may have flown under the radar, at least on the national level, is the play of another New York collegiate point guard: Iona’s Scott Machado. According to NBADraft.net’s 2012 Mock Draft, Machado is slated to go 60th overall, or the final pick of the draft, to the Los Angeles Lakers.
We’ve already covered the options present for the Knicks depending on all the different situations involving Jeremy Lin and his Bird Rights. With or without having to use the Mid-Level Exception on Lin, the Knicks don’t have any reliable back-ups at the point, and the team might be best off using their lone 2012 draft pick on back-court depth.
A Queens native, Machado averaged a remarkable 9.9 assist-per-game as the leader of the surprising Iona Gaels squad that lost to BYU in the First Four. He also averaged 1.6 steals, 13.6 points on 49.5% shooting from the field, 40% from 3-pt land. Though Machado spent the majority of his season playing inferior competition in the MAAC, he had some of his best performances against out of conference foes, including a 14 point, 11 assist effort against Purdue on opening night.
More importantly, he was the maestro to the nation’s highest scoring offense. Everything Iona wanted to accomplish on the offensive end of the floor started with, and sometimes ended with, Machado. He would draw the focus of the defense to him, allowing him to dish it inside to players like Mike Glover or along the wings to Jemel Jenkins or Sean Armand. The Gaels also led the nation in assist-per-game, with more than 50% of that responsibility coming from whatever Machado gave them each night.
As far as pure point guards go, Machado is one of the best available. He has the experience you would want at a back-up point guard position, having spent four full seasons playing ball in New Rochelle. His game also emphasizes getting his teammates involved and playing strong defense, which would both flow perfectly into how the Knicks run their offense through their stars and set-up shooters.
For me, Machado would be a dream come true at 48th. Though some might think he’s too small (he’s listed at 6’1″, 180 pounds) to withstand a full NBA season, he’s exactly what a team like the Knicks would want as their back-up point guard. He’s a Rajon Rondo-lite with a more polished jump shot than Rondo had when he came out of Kentucky. Would I be concerned about him playing at a smaller school? No, mostly due to the rules forcing future players to spend at least a year in college creating more depth in the college game.
If you haven’t heard a lot about Machado at this point in the process, you will soon. He can be a starter in this league with the right coaching and game plan. Hopefully, those coincide with a second round draft selection from the New York Knicks.