Vernon Macklin the next Jeremy Lin?

Tom Haberstroh of ESPN identified five candidates to become this season’s Jeremy Lin, including Vernon Macklin:

Plain and simple: Florida Gators big men are sneaky good. Macklin could become the next player in a long line of forwards from the University of Florida who flew under the NBA radar coming out of college. Chandler Parsons, Udonis Haslem, David Lee and Matt Bonner were all drafted late in the first round, picked in the second round or not selected at all, but had no trouble making an impact in the league.

Macklin could be next. After being drafted 52nd by the Pistons in 2011, the 6-foot-10 Macklin has dominated the D-League in his short time there, averaging 14.5 points and 14.3 rebounds in his 10 games while shooting 52.7 percent from the field.

There’s some evidence that his D-League numbers are not entirely a fluke. Macklin posted an 18.2 PER in 135 (garbage) minutes last season. His per-36 minute averages: 12.3 points and 9.1 rebounds. Like Lin, Macklin excelled in the D-League and played efficiently in his cup of coffee in the NBA last season. Question is: Will someone give Macklin a shot like the Knicks did for Lin?

By signing with a Turkish team, Macklin probably won’t become this season’s Jeremy Lin. But if Macklin ever makes a sizable impact for an NBA team other than the Pistons, I’d think we can all agree that would be a pretty big punch in the gut.

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