NBA Draft 2011: Detroit Pistons draft Vernon Macklin

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 24: Vernon Macklin #32 of the Florida Gators celebrates durig their 83 to 74 win over the Brigham Young Cougars during the Southeast regional of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at New Orleans Arena on March 24, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Finally, a big man. WIth the 52nd overall pick, the Pistons take Vernon Macklin out of Florida. DraftExpress has his measurements from the Portsmouth Invitational in April:

Vernon Macklin looks the part of a NBA center, standing 6-8 ½ without shoes, with a gigantic 7-3 ½ wingspan and near 9-1 standing reach. He surprisingly tested #1 in the lane agility drill as well. He's older than most players in this draft class (and not by a small margin) but he comes ready to play right away.

Macklin is already 24, and he'll be 25 by the time the season starts. Part of the reason he's so old is because he spent five years in college -- he started with two years at Georgetown and transferred to Florida, sitting out the 2008-09 season per NCAA regulations. His numbers at Florida weren't overly impressive -- he averaged 11.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game in 24.5 minutes. But he's a bruiser, and if he ever sees the floor (a big if), his style of play does complement Greg Monroe's. From DraftExpress:

Lacking much in the way of a jump shot as evidenced by the 4 total jump shots he took over the course of the 2011 season according to Synergy Sports Technology, Macklin is not a factor away from the rim, meaning his ability to develop counter moves and make plays on the offensive glass factor heavily into what he can bring to the table on the offensive end down the road. The former Gator is a terrific finisher, and is a nice target around the rim, but he would be well served to diversify the spaces he can occupy on the floor to help him on the next level.


Strengths: Macklin's most attractive strength surrounds his physical tools, where at 6'9 243 lbs, he possesses a 7'4 wingspan and 9'1 standing reach ... He's a solid athlete whose explosiveness allows him to do damage around the hoop... Moves well on both sides of the ball... Offensively, his biggest strength is his over the left shoulder baby hook when he establishes deep positioning on the interior... Macklin spends the majority of his time in the paint, where he's improved his post game in terms of efficiency, but not in terms of diversity... Defensively he has potential to be an effective post defender with his mobility, strength and length...

Weaknesses: His glaring weakness is his non-existent midrange game ... Facing the basket is not in his repertoire, nor does it look to be in his near future ...One-dimensional offensively, without an array of post moves or an outside game... shot 45% from line... only 2.8 free throw attempts per game, illustrating his inability to force his defender out of position ... His rebounding numbers were alarmingly low, especially on the defensive glass at only 3.2 per game... Could be a liability defending away from the basket... Already 24 years old, which will deflate his stock as an NBA prospect considering his limited offensive game ...

Overall: Was a top 10 recruit coming out of high school ... Macklin transfered to Florida after 2 years at Georgetown... Physically he fits the mold of an NBA power forward, but at 24 years old and little polish to his game, replacing someone in a rotation seems unlikely at this point.

Pistons veep Scott Perry on Macklin (courtesy of Dave Pemberton of the Oakland Press via PP):

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