Anybody still believe in Thon Maker?

Dazzling Dunks ...
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Anybody still believe in Thon Maker?

This guy has to be one of the more polarizing prospects in recent memory. He was billed as a revolutionary type big man since the age of 14-15 and his YouTube highlights made him look like a combination of Kevin Garnett and Kevin Durant. However, there were always skeptics to how his skill set and body type would translate to the highest levels of basketball. I remember there being some wildly varying opinions about him while he was in HS and I wasn’t quite sure where I stood.

Now in his third nba season, it really is starting to look like the skeptics are winning out. Although he has shown some flashes, he hasn’t really proved himself worthy of receiving consistent mins and still looks lost on defense. He doesn’t have the strength or post skills to take advantage of mismatches and isn’t enough of a knockdown shooter to really keep defenses honest. I really thought he would’ve made a leap by now, but he hasn’t shown much progress and hasn’t really moved past the project stage. And if he doesn’t soon, his nba career may not last much longer.

But maker is still only 21 and the player that showcased all that potential as a young teen is still in there. If you were on the maker bandwagon at one point are you still on it and what do you think needs to happen to get his career moving in the right direction? Would a change of scenery help?


evantomes
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Your first sentence sums it

Your first sentence sums it up. All the ridiculous expectations came from mixtapes. Most of his points came from free throws and broken plays. I went to a lot of Thon's games in high school (nearly 20), including 8 his senior year ,which he lost all 8 times I watched him. I thought the KD/KG comparisons weren't fair to him and neither were all the posts over the years who tried to make the case for him going #1.

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Never believe basketball

Never believe basketball mixtapes or Tinder profile pics... Just sayin'.

Mopgrass
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Tinder is easy. It’s based on

Tinder is easy. It’s based on an equation. Add 7 years and 40 pounds. Then imagine them less classy. That’s the Tinder I know and trust.

zcnumerouno
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Frustrated Bucks Fan

As a Bucks fan, it's super frustrating because the talent is there and the flashes have been very noticable.

He's basically been a non-factor in the regular season throughout his entire career, but he's had two pretty spectacular postseason runs.

He almost single-handedly turned around the Bucks/Celtics series when it looked like the Bucks were gonna get swept. He came in and provided a lot of energy off the bench and looked like a legit stretch-5offensively and a perenniel DPOY defensively.

Super frustrating.

faithnomuz
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He's 21. Think about it. In

He's 21. Think about it. In 10 years he'll be in his prime. I'll even appease the lingering age doubters and say he'll be in his prime in 5 years. That's a long time. Think about where you were 5 years ago. Before the Warriors run. I'm frustrated watching too, but I think he's still destined for bigger things. Milwaukee took it slowly with Giannis, so I have faith they know what they are doing. The only thing worse in the NBA is cutting someone then seeing them turn out a star for someone else - the Chauncey Billups scenario. That's why Fultz is still in Philly. I tend to think if you have a 21 year old 7ft shot blocker on a rookie contract that can move his feet and can hit a 3, especially if he's a hard worker, then you keep him and keep giving him reps.

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A first round rookie contract

A first round rookie contract is for four years. The whole wait until his prime thing is just another version of "two years away from being two years away." On a rookie scale, Milwaukee can live with Maker. It might be frustrating with where he is at, obviously with hindsight they would be better off with Sabonis, but it doesn't hinder the team. They have Lopez and Ilyasova. A potential second contract is the problem. This summer, they will have to deal with Middleton and Bledsoe being unrestricted free agents and Brogdon being restricted. With so many teams flush with cap space next summer, none of them are going to be a bargain. Giannis is already paid. They can't recreate the mistake of overpaying Snell and Henson when it comes time to make a decision on Maker in the hopes of getting to his prime. On the plus side, they still have a year and a half before it comes to that point.

Chewy
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I'm still a believer

then again, I also was a believer in Jabari Parker until like a week ago, so... maybe I'm just too optimistic. But seriously, the kid could be playing for Duke or Kentucky or Oregon right now and we would be talking about his lottery potential for the draft and instead he is 3 years deep in the league.

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I'm a believer!

Like Chewy said, he still could be playing college ball, so some perspective is needed. Comparing him to another late blooming big man, Jermaine O'Neal, shows that its often not until your second contract that you can blossom. In his first four years in the league with Portland, O'Neal scored less than 4.5ppg in under 12mins. Once he joined Indy, his minutes increased and allowed him to expand his game. He went from 12.3mpg to 32.6 in one year. What would Maker do with a season where he was guaranteed minutes and an important role? Who knows, the point is moot until he gets those sorts of minutes. But he may have to join a lesser team with a bigger role if he wants to showcase his talents more. Personally, I think he's in a good spot. Learning by practising against the Greek Freak and being brought along slowly is great for his development - as long as his minutes steadily increase as reward for performance. Which I think they will, especially now that Henson has been shipped out. One less competitor for those backup minutes.

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Nowadays if a player hasnt

Nowadays if a player hasnt earned a starting role by the end of his contract its assumed his career is over. These guys need time to develop, especially for the kind of two way player they expect Maker to become. Im still a believer.

GBee
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Given that he graduated HS in

Given that he graduated HS in 2010, he should be right in the middle of his physical prime. It's too bad his skill, coordination and feel for the game hasn't caught up. The game still looks like it moves way too fast for him to process on his feet.

He didnt look impressive as a 23 y/o vs HS kids. Why people would think he'd look good vs grown men was beyond me. His handler did an amazing job. Biggest con job the NBA has seen in recent history. At least he got paid though. I'll just leave this here:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Yearbook_Photos?s=09

faithnomuz
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Lol so he's 26-30

Lol so he's 26-30

cohenbc1
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I wouldn't give up on a

I wouldn't give up on a 21-year-old with his size and skills ... but is another 21-year-old, DJ Wilson, beating him out as the 4th big man on the Bucks? If so Milwaukee should probably listen to offers for Maker.

joe2324
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YES

give him time, let him develop. The bucks are smart and they'll let him continue to develop.

Hitster
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He doesn't seem to be getting

He doesn't seem to be getting a decent amount of playing time so it is hard to know where he is really at. If we are being truthful it might be that his coach doesn't have faith in him to give him the game time.

His draft status was all over the place when he was taken, some had him going higher than he did others barely had him in the first round. He was a bit of a reach at 10 IMO and the risk is that if the Bucks let him move on he could come good but they would likely be reluctant to commit big extension money to him.

I think they will see how the rest of his rookie deal plays out and then take it from there if they want to match any offers unless they try to lowball him with a cheaper extension next autumn.

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