14 - Thon Maker

7-1, 215 Power Forward/Center
Australia HS Senior
02/25/97 (24.8 yrs)
Sydney, Australia
High School
Athlete Institute
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Post Skills

NBA Comparison: Chris McCullough

Strengths: Legit 7-footer with a huge frame who plays the game with energy and shows an intriguing combination of ball skills and ability to run the floor … Shows some signs of being able to stretch the floor, can make shots off the catch and has range out to high school three-point line … Competitive kid who despite lacking strength, does not shy away from contact and has the ability to keep possessions alive as a rebounder or cover space defensively … Has had a lot of experience on the wing and has handled the ball a lot during his career up to this point … While he is not the most fundamentally sound rebounder, has often contributed on the glass at both ends of the floor, certainly has the will to fight for boards … With solid length and reach, has the ability to effect shots around the basket, good weak side shot blocker and displays timing to block shots … Has experience on the AAU circuit and HS ball and seems to be in good condition, along with being quite coachable … Has a reputation as a hungry, driven player, who should put in the hours to maximize his potential … Has impressive ability to handle the ball in open space for his size, though that may not be utilized much at the next level… A willing passer who displays some above average court vision … If he adapts to rim-running, playing without the ball and can gain strength, he should be able to carve out a role in the league … Has shown some ability to make hooks with both hands, and also utilizes fade away jumpers that can be difficult to defend if he can master it … Agility at his size is solid, makes some off balance shots that can be difficult to stop … Strong free-throw shooter who got to the line at a solid rate at the HS level … Did a good job of bulking up his arms and shoulders over the past two years …

Weaknesses: Despite garnering a ton of hype throughout his HS career, there is a sense that he has been intentionally hidden from NBA draft evaluators … While the combine exhibited his high level run/jump ability, he really struggles to explode when he meets contact … His legs and core have always been a concern, as he measured at 216 lbs at the NBA Draft Combine after measuring at 218 lbs during the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit, and without noticeable change as far as adding muscle to his upper body … There is a sense that what you see is what you get in terms of his body and any additional weight could slow him down or put pressure on his legs that they may not be able to handle … He gets knocked off balance easily, and has had a lot of trouble establishing himself in the post against stronger defenders … Has played on the perimeter so much that getting used to playing his more natural PF position will likely be a major adjustment, especially physically … Has definite lapses as far as defensive awareness … Lateral quickness is not to the point that he can defend NBA wing players, squashing any notion that he can be a 3 … Reaction time to plays on both ends can be slow at times, will bobble passes and let his man get behind him more often than you would like … While he is known for his handle, when he pushes the ball in the open floor it often leads to turnovers, and that asset probably won’t translate to the NBA … While in the post, has a bad habit of bringing the ball down low, leading to strips and effecting his shot, and also not lead to not drawing as many fouls as he drew at the HS level … While he has played against a national schedule for years and done well in some marquee match-ups, it’s incredibly difficult to evaluate a player who did not play in college or Europe, as we saw a large range of for high school players back when it was commonplace due to the huge amount of risk … Had a tough time at the Hoop Summit when matched-up with Skal Labissiere, whose struggles this season may cause people to wonder just how much further Maker has to go as well … Post defense will likely be a big issue, could be someone who has to deal with foul issues early on … Does not have the quickest release, plus will need to work on his overall consistency as an outside shooter … Shot selection will have to change quite a bit, will be interesting to see how he adapts … Lacks much of a low post repertoire, and the physical play in the paint will probably be a giant hurdle for him  …

Notes: Measured 7’0.5 (with shoes) 194 lbs with a 7’2 wingspan at the 2013 LeBron James Skills Academy … Measured 7’0 (with shoes) 218 lbs with a 7’3.25 wingspan and 9’3 standing reach at the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit … Was named MVP of the 2014 adidas Nations and 2015 NBPA Top 100 Camp … Spent two years at Carlisle School in Virginia, before playing his last two seasons in Canada at Orangeville Prep/Athlete Institute … Originally from South Sudan, he immigrated to Australia at the age of 5 and lived there until coming to the US in 2011 … One of the most polarizing prospects in memory, has elicited opinions all across the board by many a basketball pundit and talent evaluator … Shows some fluidity and ball skills that definitely can be worked with, though his lack of strength and understanding of the game make him a project going forward … Is an engaging person and shows an energy, competitiveness that will likely win a team over … Can reach points as a leaper that few can with a measured 12’3 max vert reach and 11’10.5 standing vert reach … A major risk if he is taken too high in the draft, but as a late 1st rounder, early 2nd rounder, there is a chance he can be developed into eventually earning a role in the league … There has been some skepticism about his true age, as is the case with many African born players, though it’s unlikely that his age is off by much if it is …  Participated in the NBA Draft Combine measurements and BAM testing but not the scrimmages …

Michael Visenberg 5/27/16

Strengths: Long and active seven footer, gives great energy and high motor. Very versatile. Runs the floor well. Good athlete, good vertical especially at his height, fluid, coordinated … Good shot mechanics, can score from different spots on the floor. Good in pick and pop situations … Can handle the ball well especially for his height. Very good court awareness. Sees the floor well. Read and react has shown improvement. Advanced passer for his size. Very unselfish. Good basketball IQ … Plays and trains hard. Attacks with aggression and isn’t afraid of contact. Plays with tenacity …. Showed progression throughout the year. Studies and understands the game … Added some upper body strength … Draws a lot of fouls, makes a living at the free throw line … Vocal on defense. Blocks shots as a help side defender. Good at avoiding fouls when players try to drive into him. Jumps the passing lanes well … Good rebounder … Great competitor. Never intimidated. Very confident. Brings his best effort every game.

Weaknesses: While he has added some upper body strength, he still needs to get stronger, especially in the lower body. With his slight frame, there are concerns about how he will physically develop long term. His lack of lower body strength prevents him from getting low post position, even against shorter defenders. He gets knocked off balance. Has a tendency to duck and force himself to the basket … Turns the ball over a bit too much. Small hands. Has a tendency to mishandle passes. Needs to protect the ball better. Tends to bring the ball too low after offensive rebounds, letting smaller defenders get a hand on it … A lot of his scoring comes from broken plays and put backs. His half-court offense can be predetermined. While he can score in a variety of ways at times – breaking down his defender from the perimeter, jump hook in the post, perimeter shooting – he still has a way to go to be a consistent threat from any of those areas … Tends to leave his feet a lot on defense. While he has the ability to guard the perimeter and hedge on screens, he can still improve moving his feet and keeping players in front of him.

Outlook: Maker has received a lot of hype at an early age, all the way back to when he was in middle school. His combination of skills, work ethic, and height/length make him a very intriguing prospect. Translating skills into in game production at the highest level will be a heavy work in progress.

Evan Tomes 5/17/16

Related News