Marcus Haislip

Drafted #13 in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Bucks
Height: 6'10" (208 cm)
Weight: 221 lbs (100 kg)
Position: PF
High School: Marshall County High School (Tennessee)
Hometown: Lewisburg, TN
College: Tennessee
Current Team: Gaziantep
Win - Loss: 15 - 5


Scrutinizing the DraftExpress Overseas Free Agent Rankings (Part One)

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Dec 06, 2009, 09:38 pm
Haislip didn’t appear to be in the biggest rush to return to the NBA when we sat down to speak with him at the Copa del Rey in Spain last February, but he nonetheless finds himself on San Antonio’s roster right now. He signed a two year contract for 1.77 million dollars, with the second year being non-guaranteed until July 1st, 2010.

Not only did Haislip take a massive pay cut to come back to the NBA—he could be making far more than the veteran minimum in Europe—but he really hasn’t enjoyed much playing time to justify his sacrifice. He’s seen a grand total of four minutes in the entire season thus far.

As we’ve discussed numerous times when profiling his strengths and weakness, Haislip was always going to be a poor fit on a team (like the Spurs) that put such a large emphasis on defense and rebounding (his two biggest shortcomings) from their role-playing big men.

The fact that San Antonio may be the deepest team in the NBA at his position (Antonio McDyess, DeJuan Blair and Matt Bonner are all outstanding options, besides Tim Duncan) obviously doesn’t help matters much. On a different team that values his scoring, athleticism and shot-creating ability more, Haislip would probably be in much better shape.

Right now it’s still too early to gauge whether Haislip made a mistake in passing up a much larger guaranteed contract in Europe in the prime of his career for the sake of warming San Antonio’s bench. It’s not looking good so far, though.

European Roundup: Dasic Providing Intrigue

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Matt Williams
Matt Williams
Jan 17, 2009, 11:36 pm
While Josh Childress has been the major attraction for scouts evaluating this year’s overseas free agent crop, Marcus Haislip has provided quite a bit of intrigue in his own right. A former lottery pick of the Bucks in 2002, Haislip played only 79 games in his three year NBA career. Discouraged with his lack of development, Milwaukee cut ties with the incredibly raw 6’10 power forward only two seasons into his rookie contract. After spending a season in Indiana as an insurance policy off the bench, he found himself out of the NBA.

Four years later, Haislip has established himself as not only one of Europe’s most exciting players, but his skill set is radically different than it was when he left Indianapolis for Istanbul. While Haislip definitely looks like an NBA player at this point, some of the things that kept him from being successful in the League initially are still present in his game.

With three years of European experience under his belt, Haislip is now is his second year with Spanish powerhouse, and Euroleague Final Four contender, Unicaja Malaga. With former Spanish Olympic Team Head Coach Aito Garcia Reneses at the helm, Haislip has led Unicaja’s to arguably the most impressive start in club history. Despite playing next to a handful of other former NBA players in Boniface N'Dong, Robert Archibald, Jiri Welsch, and Omar Cook (as well as Spanish national team PG Carlos Cabezas), Haislip is unquestionably the team’s top option and most dynamic presence.

Through twenty-five games this season (sixteen in the ACB where Unicaja is 12-4, and nine in the Euroleague where they are 7-2) Haislip has put together some very impressive statistical outings, especially in domestic play where he is averaging 16.1 points per game in only 27 minutes of action per-contest. While the athleticism that made Haislip a lottery pick is responsible for some of his success, it’s the development of his offensive repertoire that earns him mention here.

Coming off of a three year career at Tennessee that was characterized by little except a big junior season littered with highlight reel dunks, Haislip lacked the polish to make an impact offensively on the NBA level. Over the last few years, Haislip has become a much more complete player on the offensive end. He has slowly but surely developed the perimeter shooting stroke, ball-handling ability, and scoring instincts that he desperately needed to make a productive NBA career.

This season has been a mixed bag for Haislip as a shooter. His stroke is significantly sounder than it was during his NBA career –now featuring great lift, good mechanics, and a pretty quick release. He shoots a very respectable percentage from three (40.0% in ACB play but only 28.6% in Euroleague games), and shows some inconsistency from the outside. After starting the season on a tear, he’s cooled off significantly, due in part to a groin injury that has limited him since December. Haislip is the definition of a rhythm shooter –connecting at a great clip when he can step into his shot in transition or in drive and dish situations. However, his mechanics don’t allow much room for error, and Haislip has struggled mightily since hurting his groin, which has limited his ability to elevate like he usually does. After spending the first few months of the season amongst the most efficient three point shooters in the ACB, Haislip has fallen back to earth –missing all eight of his attempts over Unicaja’s last three games. Despite these struggles, Haislip has become a legitimate three point threat, and his current shooting percentage seems to reflect his true shooting ability better than it was early in the year. On the season as a whole, he is shooting 34/91 from beyond the arc, or 37%.

In addition to adding a perimeter shot to his repertoire, Haislip has also become more comfortable attacking the basket when he receives the ball on the outside. He’s not a flashy ball handler, but his explosive first step makes it tough for the majority of power forwards to stay in front of him, which helps him draw plenty of fouls. The improvements in his outside shot force defenders to respect his range, and this allows him to take advantage and attack the rim. Aito Garcia Reneses does a very good job creating space for Haislip to go one-on-one against his defender in his offensive sets. Despite showing solid mechanics on his pull up jumper, Haislip prefers to take the ball to the rim when he puts it on the floor. He’s a fantastic finisher at this level due to his athleticism, and does a nice job taking contact and getting to the line when he can’t blow past the defense and create an easy look. His ability to recognize when he should and shouldn’t drive has helped him significantly, and his perimeter shot selection appears much better for this reason.

While Haislip is significantly more polished in some aspects of the game, he still struggles in others. Despite being taller and vastly more athletic than the players attempting to defend him, Haislip struggles to score on the block. The mechanics on his jumper don’t allow him to make many shots off balance or attempting to maneuver away from defenders. His tendency to force some shots from the post only makes this feature of his shot more apparent. While he’ll knock down a periodic turnaround jumper or short-hook shot, he could stand to develop better shooting touch around the basket, face up more often, and look to pass out of the post more often.

While Haislip still struggles in some areas offensively, his lack of progress in other areas is more troubling. Averaging only 5.2 rebounds in ACB play (4.6 in Euroleague games), it is apparent that the athletically gifted forward isn’t making a concerted effort to make an impact on the glass. Though some of this lack of production can be attributed to the presence of good rebounders such as Boniface N’Dong, Robert Archibald, and Unicaja mainstay Carlos Jimenez, Haislip often doesn’t look to rebound outside of his area. In addition to not showing ideal effort on the glass, Haislip shows even less effort on the defensive end. His 7.8 rebounds per-40 minutes is an extremely poor figure, and is indicative of the type of rebounder he’s been throughout his entire career.

Despite being able to come up with an occasional highlight reel block, Haislip usually looks disinterested on the defensive end. He has the tools to alter some shots each game, but doesn’t show great awareness when defending the weak-side. His lack of bulk will get him into some trouble on the block, but he actually does a nice job going straight up and not fouling –though he doesn’t do a great job keeping up with pump fakes and up-and-under moves.

Even though he isn’t all that engaged on the defensive end, he is more than capable of defending perimeter oriented big men effectively. Given his lateral quickness, wingspan, and leaping ability, Haislip has all the tools to be at the very least a solid defender. However, it seems somewhat unlikely that he will begin to buy into that end of the floor at this point in his career. While this is something that he could definitely stand to work on, Aito has shown that Haislip’s inconsistent defensive intensity isn’t impossible to plan around with the right personnel in place.

Despite still having some nagging weaknesses, there is absolutely no question that Haislip has developed into an NBA player. With that said, he'll likely need to rebound from his shooting slump and carry his team deep into Euroleague play to draw serious enough offers to make the economics of a return trip across the pond worthwhile. If he shows a bit more defensive intensity and continues to produce as such a high rate, he should have no problem finding interest come this summer. Whether or not NBA teams can compete with the multi-million dollar offers that are likely coming his way in Europe remains to be seen, though.

Scouting the NBA Free Agents at the 2008 Copa del Rey

Luis Fernández
Luis Fernández
Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Feb 20, 2008, 03:59 am
Although his team made a quick exit after losing in the first day, the glimpses Marcus Haislip dropped were probably enough to show once again that we’re looking at an NBA player playing in Europe. Freakishly athletic, and getting more versatile offensively by the day, Haislip is incredibly talented, and still seemingly has room to continue to improve over the next few years. He has excellent physical tools—long arms, a nice frame, excellent quickness and amazing leaping ability—combined with a very intriguing package of offensive skills.

Haislip put a great deal of pressure on the defense with his overwhelming quickness in the post, which helps him draw plenty of fouls. He can put the ball on the floor from varying distances, being extremely difficult for power forwards to stay in front of due to his terrific first step. He can also shoot the ball relatively well, either stepping out from behind the arc, or pulling up off the dribble—elevating off the floor like a wing player, which when combined with his extremely high release point, makes him very difficult to contest. He can also get points in transition, cutting off the ball, or by making a simple catch in the post and exploding off the ground from a stand-still position and emphatic jam.

With that said, there is surely a reason why Haislip had to take the route he did-- from being a lottery pick out of college, to a complete bust in the NBA, to playing in Turkey over the past two years, to here. His decision making skills and overall feel for the game still haven’t caught up with his terrific physical tools, even if the gap has clearly narrowed over the past few years. He’s not the most fundamentally sound player in the world (again, often relying excessively on his athleticism)—his back to the basket skills are underdeveloped, his shot-selection is poor (particularly from the perimeter in the form of wild and untimely pull-up jumpers), he’s not much of a passer, and he is prone to mental lapses on the defensive end. He’ll follow up two spectacular plays with a bone-headed one, and obviously needs to play with a great point guard (preferably an up-tempo one) to fully maximize his skill-set.

With that said, there are plenty of players in the NBA who we can say the same exact things about…and most of them aren’t 6-10 and freakishly athletic like he is. Look for some smart team to step up to the plate this summer and offer him a deal starting somewhere around the lower level exception.

The Top Overseas Free Agents on the 2007 Market (Part Three)

Luis Fernández
Luis Fernández
Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Jul 07, 2007, 05:06 am
Topping our list of non-minimum contract free agent prospects when taking the realistic chances of his signing along with the potential impact he could represent for an NBA team, the name Marcus Haislip might surprise some who strictly recall the player he was after being drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks as a lottery pick in 2002. Haislip has been honing his game over the past two seasons in the Euroleague with Turkish powerhouse Efes Pilsen, and has made some impressive strides in many key areas.

Once just a freak athlete with very little in the ways of fundamentals, skills or basketball IQ, the Bucks gave up on him very quickly--just as he was going into his third NBA season, a move they’ll freely tell you they regret in hindsight when considering the type of player he’s developed into. That’s not a shock when considering the fact that he’s only 26 years old at the moment.

When examining Haislip’s physical tools—incredible explosiveness, superb fluidity, excellent speed, and the awesome quickness in which he gets off his feet—its easy to see why Milwaukee decided to gamble with a late lottery pick in a shallow draft on him. He’s essentially a highlight reel waiting to happen on tape with Efes Pilsen, looking extremely hard to stay in front of at the European level considering how much more athletic he is than anyone else on the floor. He cuts to the basket and finishes with ease, drops in impressive alleyoop dunks off pick and roll plays, rotates from the weakside looking for blocks, only to pin the ball against the glass in mid-air, and puts the ball on the floor well with an outstanding first step. He’s also improved his shooting range considerably, to the point that he hit just under 38% of his 3-pointers in the Euroleague this season on over 4 attempts per game.

Haislip still doesn’t have anything more than some simple moves he can go to in the post- a quick spin or a turnaround jump-shot seem to be his favorite, and he can look quite predictable when trying to create offense for himself. That’s where a playmaking point guard could have come in extremely handy as far as he’s concerned—but alas, Efes Pilsen made the questionable move of signing two trigger happy combo guards (Drew Nicholas and Horace Jenkins) to man their backcourt this year, and thus had an extremely disappointing season-- being swept in the Turkish league finals and knocked out of the Euroleague in the Top 16 stage.

While he was ranked the #1 shot-blocker in the Euroleague this season (1.8 in 28 minutes per game), most NBA coaches would probably not consider him a great defender. He has a tendency to bite on pump-fakes, rotate haphazardly (exposing his team’s interior defense) and swat at the ball violently. He’s generally speaking a fairly wild player whose consistency level still wavers dramatically. He’ll for example score 33 points one week in the Euroleague and then follow that up the very next game with just 2 points. This also shows up in his rebounding, where his intensity level boxing out opponents seems to waver and his freakish athleticism only takes him so far.

With that said, for what Haislip needs to be considering his physical tools, he is doing fairly well for himself as far as the NBA is concerned. There are just a handful of players at the power forward position who should be considered better free agent prospects than him, and it shouldn’t shock anyone to see someone use their lower-level exception or a part of their MLE to lock him up for a few years. Put him next to a good point guard in an up-tempo offense and he should be able to deliver solid production off the bench. His contract had another year on it with a team option, but Efes Pilsen already decided to move in another direction and has reportedly signed Andre Hutson as his replacement.

Euroleague: Who's Hot

Kristian Hohnjec
Kristian Hohnjec
Dec 21, 2006, 07:08 am
Probably the most athletic player in European competition, Marcus Haislip is a former lottery pick-turn bust who became a huge disappointment for Milwaukee Bucks fans.

Now Haislip is providing solid outings for Turkish powerhouse Efes Pilsen, but is still not considered among the premier Euroleague big men. Marcus has amazing physical tools—having a vertical leap that allows him to jump out of gym. It is not surprising that he leads the Euroleague in blocks per game.

Outside of his natural gifts, Haislip’s biggest weapon is his jump-shot, which has been consistent with solid results even from the three-point line. Fundamentally, he is still a raw player, lacking post moves, being a below average passer and showing a low basketball IQ. He often makes basic things look difficult on both ends of the floor and consistently gives his coach a headache with head-scratching decisions.

It is probable that he will return to the NBA at some point, but at this point it’s even more likely that he will never put it all together and fulfill his immense upside coming out early from college.

Latest results

01/20/2024 88 - 77 vs Kocaeli Kagitspor Kocaeli Kagitspor
01/14/2024 92 - 94 at Erokspor Erokspor
01/08/2024 104 - 92 vs Fenerbahce B Fenerbahce B
12/29/2023 89 - 83 vs Final Genclik Final Genclik
DraftExpress Shop