Milan Macvan profile
Drafted #54 in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Cavaliers
Height: 6'9" (206 cm)
Weight: 265 lbs (120 kg)
Position: PF/C
Hometown: Vukovar, Croatia
Current Team: Bayern Muenchen
Win - Loss: 28 - 5


Nike Hoop Summit, International Prospects

Mike Schmidt
Mike Schmidt
Apr 15, 2009, 12:54 am
The most consistently impressive play from the international squad came from Serbian power forward Milan Macvan, who we wrote about in detail during the week. At first glance, the big man doesn't look like he has the physical tools to play in the NBA, standing somewhere around 6'9" with a big body sporting plenty of baby fat, and unimpressive athleticism. On the court, he makes up for this with his solid wingspan, an incredible basketball IQ, and the fact that he's just stronger and thicker than anybody else on the court. From early in the game, Macvan displayed his impressive instincts on the offensive glass, and the ability to take up a great deal of space and time the rebound perfectly.

Offensively, he showed his impressive ability to set huge screens early in the game. The big screens from Macvan created a great deal of space for his guards to penetrate, and he was open rolling to the basket as a result nearly every time. Though not the best athlete, the big man can finish inside due to good timing and the intelligent use of his dribbles to keep the defense on their heels. In addition, he showed the ability to play in the high post, passing the ball very effectively from the perimeter a number of times. His 6 assists were the second most in the entire game behind John Wall, and his crafty passing included a nice assist from the post when he was doubled, and even a long range tip/outlet pass immediately after a defensive rebound.

In the low post, Macvan relies on his nice touch and ability to back down any player that he goes against. He shoots a very nice turnaround jumper spinning to either shoulder, and also has a running hook he can use coming across the lane. In the NBA, he won't be able to use his post game too often, as he plays so far below the rim, and his shot was blocked twice from the post in the game. The ability to play outside and shoot the ball will allow his post game to be effective, however. His ball-skills were quite impressive for a man his size. The Serbian big attacked the basket twice off the dribble, and even aided the guards in getting the ball up the court.

Defensively, the big man plays very tough low-post defense, showing no reservations about getting physical with the opposing players. His lateral quickness will probably hurt him when it comes to guarding most power-forwards, but he does show a good fundamental understanding of defensive rotations. It also helps knowing that if there's a missed shot by the opposing team, Macvan is going to be right there to fight for the rebound.

Milan Macvan is the type of player who will be debated by front office personnel for some time. Based on his performance in this setting, and his success at the international level at a young age, it appears that he has the necessary tools to play in the NBA, despite his lack of size and explosiveness. Macvan's strength, feel for the game, and ability to play inside and out are rare for a prospect of his age, and will allow him to have some type of role with an NBA team in the future. With three years left on his contract with Hemofarm, Macvan says he has a buyout after next year, and would like one more year of European experience before declaring for the draft.

Nike Hoop Summit Day One (International Practices)

Mike Schmidt
Mike Schmidt
Apr 09, 2009, 10:57 am
The third prospect we'll look at today, Milan Macvan, is a player already familiar to many basketball fans in Europe. A massive body in the post, Macvan stands at 6'8" (without shoes) and a massive 258 pound frame. The Serb's body shows nothing in terms of definition, and it doesn't look like he has ever spent time in the weight room despite his great strength. The big man plays way below the rim, and though he ran the court a little better than expected, he appeared to become very winded by the time they started scrimmaging an hour into practice.

The immediate comparison that jumps to mind when watching him would be a shorter and even less athletic version of Kevin Love. Like Love, Macvan is an incredibly intelligent offensive player when it comes to getting position or passing the ball. The Serbian showed great awareness of where his shooters were spaced on the perimeter during the scrimmages, and he always positioned himself to screen the defender of the shooter on the weak-side. This created a number of open looks for his teammates throughout the day.

Offensively, Macvan likes to overpower his opponent, and shows very nice touch on his right handed hook shot. He understands angles on the backboard quite well, which becomes a very important aspect of the game for below the rim bigs against athletic competition. For both practice days we've observed, the big man looks very comfortable with stepping out and shooting the mid-range jumper as well. From the high-post, he also showed extremely impressive passing skills with his ability to find the cutting guards.

Defensively, Macvan has struggled to match-up in any situation where his bulk or strength doesn't come in handy. The big shows very good fundamentals on the glass, always putting his huge body into his man, but he only collects rebounds in his area. He really struggles to guard quicker bigs who like to face up and drive, and doesn't really contest many shots either.

As the toughest player mentally of the group, Milan Macvan gives you a lot to like about him as a player. He’s also the most experienced of this group. Until he gets in better shape, though, it's hard to envision him becoming a great NBA draft prospect, and even then his physical attributes might fall short.

U-18 European Championship: The Bigs

Luis Fernández
Luis Fernández
Sep 05, 2007, 12:57 am
Becoming almost an inevitable routine in youth competitions for the last year (only altered in the Euroleague Junior Tournament back in May), Macvan has led his team to the title, and even if he wasn’t given MVP honors, he was the clear-cut best player on the best team. A dominant body, more in terms of width and strength than length, at the service of a privileged mind, resulted in another exhibition of basketball efficiency.

Nobody could keep up with a guy who is just built like a house. And when he faced the only player with the physical presence to limit his physical dominance, Kosta Koufos, he gave a clinic on basketball IQ and skills, to still remain productive. Standing 6-9, an showing an excellent wingspan, he enjoys very broad shoulders, while his body line just goes down with no intention of drawing a waist. He is indeed overweight, showing noticeable fat whenever he takes off his jersey. He’s not fat, obviously, but there’s a lot of room to improve his physical condition. That would likely help his athleticism, his biggest shortcoming, although everything suggests that he will never be what we would call an athletic guy. Right now, he’s just slow and heavy footed.

No problem at all. That extra weight came very handy to overpower his opponents. Macvan just gains position in the lane at will, actually moving very intelligently to receive the ball in the best possible situation. Not a low-post dancer, he shows nice moves, even if his first option is to bang his opponent and spin for the layup, or go for a simple right-handed hook shot from as close range as possible. He can use both hands near the rim with consistency, a pattern with most Serbian big men. Still, Macvan often settles for a turnaround jumper, or a step-back shot. He gains enough space in the process to enjoy a comfortable release, and sometimes even delivers a slight fade away move. However, he looks streakier in these kind of shots. Macvan’s shot enjoys range out to the three point line, but not with consistency, particularly in this championship.

One of the best assets of Macvan’s game is his passing ability. They guy sees the floor really well, and he’s equally effective in any part of the court. From the low post, to the high post, the arc or in transition, double-teamed or off the dribble, to his fellow post-mate, finding the open man on the three-point line, feeding cutters, from the weak side…he’s very smart getting his teammates involved, even if his first option is usually to score himself. Anyway, he’s not obsessed with the definitive pass, but just looks for the offense to flow properly.

Milan was a rebounding force in this championship. Showing good positioning and cashing in off his width, strength and excellent hands, he put on a true exhibition, although it’s true that his teammates always conceded the rebound to him if he was near. On defense he often came with mixed results. He’s a slow player, particularly concerning the power forward position, and occasionally opposing teams exploited that flaw. Also, whenever he collected fouls he virtually gave up any kind of defensive risk to not to get into foul trouble, which greatly affected his effectiveness there. Still, he’s a player who knows how to position himself, while he uses his wingspan and relies on his strength to get the job done.

Even if Macvan is stubbornly proving that he can keep up his production as the competition grows older (and stronger), I still have serious concerns about his real potential. Of course he will at least be a very nice player in Europe, probably a very good one. But he just doesn’t enjoy a NBA-friendly profile. His poor combination of athleticism and size will likely hurt him in the long run. Indeed, I don't expect draft-wise anything more than a second round call down the road, if anything.

U-19 World Championship Review: Big Men

Luis Fernández
Luis Fernández
Aug 29, 2007, 01:36 am
The MVP of the tournament, hands down, Macvan was a huge offensive force coming off the bench for Serbia. Tough, smart and skilled, he made up for his lack of size and athleticism just by delivering a lesson on how to play this game, the same way he has been doing for the entire past year in every single youth competition he has taken part in.

Macvan is a big guy, actually too big for his 6-9 body. He could try losing some weight (it’s easy to realize there’s room for improvement when he takes his jersey off), although he will always be a pretty wide guy, unathletic and very strong. More focused playing a big man role than in past occasions, he was a monster in the paint. He’s very intelligent playing without the ball to gain good position, while he shows nice footwork and a perfect use of his body to find the way to the basket. Pretty skilled finishing with both hands around the rim, he could still improve his touch when it comes to releasing jump hooks.

He also faced the basket to attack his match-ups. He’s not particularly quick, but his ball-handling skills are very nice for his size and he knows how to protect the ball with his body. Enjoying range in his shot out to the three-point line, he’s not the most reliable guy firing from the perimeter. Although he played more of a finishing role this time, he’s also a very nice passer from the perimeter or the low post, something he showed on a few occasions.

Solid on defense, using his physical strength and showing nice lateral mobility considering his limited athleticism, he wasn’t always effective rebounding the ball. Of course, getting position is not difficult for him at all, but his heavy feet are not very helpful. He’s certainly a guy with limited potential, but so far he’s making the most out of his gifts, and not only keeps dominating as he grows older and advances categories, but to end up as the MVP of the tournament, having been born in November of 1989 against players mostly born in 1988, is nothing short of remarkable.

U-19 World Championship: Early Rounds

Luis Fernández
Luis Fernández
Jul 20, 2007, 06:45 am
Serbia is basing its game on its inside power, with the likes of Miroslav Raduljica, Boban Marjanovic and Milan Macvan assuming big responsibilities. However, it’s the later one, Milan Macvan, still one year younger than most of his teammates, who has emerged as the go-to player in Serbia. As usual, we can talk about his limited athleticism and physical grace, but the truth is, he’s so far delivering at any category he plays.

As opposed to the Macvan we’ve seen this season with the FMP juniors, virtually an orchestra conductor (a role he will likely reassume on the U-18 national team later this summer), Milan is evolving as a much more clear-cut inside guy, primarily looking for the low post to take advantage of his strength, moves and intelligence.

Euroleague Final Four Nike Junior Tournament

Luis Fernández
Luis Fernández
Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
May 11, 2007, 02:58 am
Another pretty dominant performance by Milan Macvan in a junior tournament, despite being slowed the second day by a small ankle injury, confirming that he’s currently one of the very top 1989-born players in Europe. He often looked like a man playing with boys, not only because of his great physical strength and 6-9 size, but also due to his excellent skill set and basketball IQ. Only his poor athleticism limits him from being ear-marked as a potential do-it-all player.

In Athens he again eventually played some point forward, taking the ball up the court and distributing it. Macvan is a terrific passer both from the high post or the low post. He easily finds his teammates regardless of whether they are under the basket, far on the weak side, or cutting in motion. His versatility is again exhibited in his shooting stroke. Although he’s not a very consistent player, he does enjoy three-point range and a guard-esque ability to shoot off the dribble from the mid-range area. In the low post he simply outmuscles his rivals with his width and strength to easily score under the basket. If he’s a bit further out, he often settles for turnaround jumpers, often high-arched and/or in fade-away fashion. Of course he can put the ball on the floor to attack his match-up, although he usually tries to take advantage if his opponent is unbalanced; otherwise, he doesn’t enjoy the quickness to beat him on a regular basis.

On defense he’s mostly about intelligence and positioning, as well as again his huge body, which means that he’s usually very effective at the junior stage regardless of his relative lack of lateral quickness. Milan enjoys terrific hands, which paired with his size, make him an effective rebounder.

This won’t be the last time we’re raving about Macvan’s performance in the youth categories, but as much as he dominates, it’s hard to envision great NBA potential in him. Sure, he will be a fine European player, but his heavy feet and general lack of athleticism really hurt his upside.

L’Hospitalet 2007: Reflections of A Poor Class

Luis Fernández
Luis Fernández
Jan 11, 2007, 05:37 pm
Serbian squad FMP Zeleznik emerged as a well-deserved winner, with its leader Milan Macvan earning MVP honours in a pretty dominant performance throughout the tournament. Plain and simple, he was the best player in L’Hospitalet.


However, let’s leave clear that Macvan is not what you’d typically call an NBA prospect. A 6-9 big man, he’s a versatile guy who perfectly combines his outside-inside game, takes advantage of his big body and shows a terrific basketball IQ. But athleticism-wise, he just does not seem to make the cut for a hypothetical future in the world’s most powerful and athletic league. Still, he’s a guy who will surely make a very nice career in Europe.

Macvan was the centerpiece of FMP. A lot of his team’s game run through him or finished with him. Actually, he played a lot of point forward, even occasionally taking the ball up-court and distributing it from the arc. Milan enjoys a very solid skill set. He can easily put the ball on the floor, has a nice stroke out to the three-point line (with some off-the-dribble skills) and he’s pretty effective from the low post, particularly because he uses his very wide and strong body very well. Anyway, he’s not really a great one-on-one scorer, and this is where his passing ability chimes in. It’s probably the most surprising part about his game. Particularly, he likes to attack his matchup from the high post to unbalance the defense and feed a teammate, but he’s also pretty effective distributing from the low post, from the arc or in transition.

A very smart guy who perfectly knows the game, his character looks rather odd. He surprised the audience with his reactions on court (it was difficult to tell whether he was celebrating his plays or just joking), but he was the only player receiving a long ovation. His final averages where 22.5 ppg, 17.7 rpg (leading the tournament) and 4.5 apg.

Macvan aside, there were no big names in FMP, but a bunch of very nice and solid players. Still, let’s mention Branislav Dekic, an extremely immature 6-9 1991-born power forward who might develop into an interesting player.

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