Suns Draft Profile: Thon Maker
7’1” 216 lbs PF
2015-16 Stats at Athletes Institute Prep (High School, 6 Games): 29 PPG, 14 RPG, 3.7 BPG, 3.5 APG, 1.0 SPG
One of the many international men of mystery in the year’s draft, Sudanese bigman Thon Maker looks to become the first player to be drafted out of high school since Amir Johnson in 2005. Maker’s long journey to the NBA is nearing its completion, after traveling from Sudan, to Australia, to the U.S, and finally to Canada. Basketball fans have been wowed with his impressive highlight reels and mixtapes, however will Makers high school dominance translate to the NBA? Only time will tell.
At seven feet one inch, Thon Maker has terrific size to play power forward in the NBA. He has great length, which pairs well with his high energy type of play. Maker is a high energy player, and loves to run the floor. He also has shown great aggressiveness at getting to the rim, and crashing the offensive glass. Offensively, Maker has shown flashes of a capable outside jumpshot, and could easily develop into a dangerous weapon in the pick-and-pop game.
Maker has good instincts as a rim protector, because of his tremendous length. He also has quick feet and is able to stay in front of players out on the perimeter. He has shown good awareness on guarding pick-and-rolls, and will only get better in an NBA system.
Maker doesn’t turn 20 until next February. He has so much potential, and could really be shaped into anything. With the right team, and good development, Maker’s best case scenario would be becoming the next Chris Bosh.
The biggest issue for Thon Maker will be his strength. At only 216 lbs, he needs to add some serious strength soon, or his first season in the pros will be pure punishment. There are currently zero players in the NBA above seven foot one inches as light as Maker.
This paired with a lack of defensive awareness will hurt Maker both in the post, and on the defensive glass, where he has often shown an inability to find a body. He is also not a natural rim protector, and seems a bit lost on the court at times. This was not a problem in high school, but will be a massive mountain for Thon to climb against NBA competition.
Maker’s ability to stretch the floor can be seen as a strength, but he is often too reliant on his outside jumpshot, which can be seen as pretty inconsistent. His lack of a reliable post game will also hurt him, as he may need some time in the D-league before being able to contribute on the offensive end of the floor. Maker has also shown to be unreliable with the ball, averaging nearly seven turnovers a game in high school. This is because of a tendency to try and show off whilst handling, and forcing passes that aren’t there.
How does he fit?
Thon Maker is set to be a massive project for whoever drafts him, and that is not what the Suns need right now. Although I can see Maker turning into a reliable bigman in the future, with all the other immediate talent in this year’s draft, going all in on Maker in the first round is something the Suns should avoid.
Should he be available come the second round, depending who else is on the board, I would feel alright with the Suns taking a risk on one of the most talked about players in this year’s draft. Do you agree? Let me know in the comments below.