While most of the attention on the Lakers this draft season stem from them holding the #2 overall pick, the team also holds the #32 selection in the upcoming draft. With that, we will be having a series of posts on potential options for that selection. This installment looks at the mysterious high schooler, Thon Maker.
Power Forward/Center, 7’0.75″, 216 lbs. High School, 19 years old
21.3 points, 48.0 field goal percentage, 78.0 free throw percentage, 1.7 assists, 13.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 4.2 blocks (Stats are from his sophomore year in H.S. Maker’s Canadian prep-shool stats from 2015-16 stats are unavailable.)
Big Board Rankings:
Draft Express – 40, CBS – 32, Sports Illustrated – 25, Sporting News — 18, ESPN (Chad Ford) — 19
Thon Maker is a name that people have known for awhile now because of a famous mixtape of him that was put on YouTube a few years ago. Through most of his high school career, he was considered the number one prospect, but he found a loophole to get him into the draft without going to college or going overseas. No one really knows a whole lot about Maker right now because there isn’t much tape of him, and he’s only doing workouts with teams. This makes him hard to evaluate.
What we do know about Thon Maker is that he is almost 7’1 with a wingspan of 7’3. His measurables alone make him an intriguing prospect. He’s currently too skinny and not strong enough to play center in the NBA, so his height and wingspan will really help him guard power forwards in the NBA. While he’s extremely thin, he has a great work ethic, which will hopefully lead to him gaining more muscle in the first couple years of his career.
“Maker, who did complete the measurable assessments at the combine, set records for men 6-11 and over in the standing and max vertical. He was near the top among big men in the three-quarter sprint drill and shuttle run,” according to a recent ESPN article. He’s athletic and should be able to run the floor on the fast break.
With a guy as big as Maker is, it’s not normal to have a shooting stroke like he does. He can knock down threes already, which would really help the spacing for any team. His shot will help him in pick-n-pop situations. He should be able to get his shot up against smaller defenders, but his play may be limited to midrange and further out. He has a decent handle, but it’s nothing too special.
Once again, with his size, Maker shows potential on the defensive side of the ball. He’s been talking to an NBA coach and learning about defenses, so hopefully that pays off. Right now, the only good thing about Maker on defense is his wingspan and height. Because of his strength and weight, he’s going to really struggle against bigger guys especially if trying to anchor in the post or when guys with a lower center of gravity get into his body on dribble penetration.
There are a lot more weaknesses than strengths when it comes to the kid out of high school. DraftExpress has him at 47.5% on two-pointers, which is not great for a guy his size against the competition he was facing. DX also has him at a 16.4 turnover percentage, and he’s not good at finding teammates to begin with. He doesn’t really have a post game, so if he goes against an average defender in the NBA with size, Maker is really going to struggle. His jumpshot, while not bad, is also not always as consistent as it needs to be as his main source of offense.
Once again, weight and bulk are really going to hurt Maker, this time on the defensive side of the ball. At just 216 pounds (according to the NBA Combine), he’s going to get bullied by the pros. James Harden, for instance, is only 6’5 but weighs 225 pounds. Maker is seven inches taller and weighs less. Dwyane Wade is 6’4 and 220. Someone like Anthony Davis who came in around the same weight and now weighs 240 gives a glimmer of hope, but he’s really going to have to work on it by getting on the right kind of diet and getting after it in the weight room.
As far as defending the ball and in pick-n-roll situations, Thon isn’t great at it and is going to have to put more time into that as well. He doesn’t have great instincts.
Where he fits in with the Lakers:
This young man is really hard to evaluate. It’s difficult just finding his high school stats, let alone video of him playing against other teams that isn’t a highlight reel or mixtape. The 19-year-old has a lot of potential, but it could take a long time to see it. He’s way too skinny, doesn’t have a great offensive game, doesn’t pass much and turns the ball over, doesn’t have a great defensive mindset, and isn’t strong enough. On the positive side, he does have a high motor and, by all accounts is willing to work hard both on and off the court.
If the Lakers were to draft Thon Maker, they would have to wait a while for him to even come close to his potential. He’s a guy who wants to be in the gym all day, and he’s going to have to be if he wants to make an impact soon. He’s a high risk/high reward player, and he could end up being a nice floor spacer for the Lakers if he develops the way scouts think he can. There are so many other guys with known NBA strengths and weaknesses that they can pick here, but if they’re willing to be patient with him, Thon Maker could eventually help the Lakers.
These profiles of bigs possibly available at # 32 are interesting and well done. However the players themselves seem they will need extensive development/improvement to rise to journeyman or even stiff quality.
I’d like to see the Lakers go for the best athlete possible at # 32 rather than draft someone who is most likely to be a total bust.
Id like to see the Lakers make two simultaneous max offers, this off season or next, two players who would be likely to want to play together and the youngsters and return LA to glory. Yes, I do understand this is easier said than done.
It’s about leveraging advantages. The Lakers do have a few and they need to make the most of them.
Nik Kannan says
Brandon Ingram sports science –
In terms of team building i think the Lakers need 4 year seniors from programs like Michigan State, Duke and Kentucky. Players who will be sounder fundamentally and will bring maturity and good practice habits to the youth on the team. I think this is an integral part of building the kind of culture Luke envisions. The 96-97 Laker teams had a tremendous veteran presence that helped shape Kobe and Shaq. Horry Fox Eddie Jones Van Excel, BScott, etc. Habits are formed during pracce and bonds are formed on the road. We need sound veteran presence like KG provides in Minny to mentor and help police the development of the core. While everyone is going on about signing max players im still thinking about what the cap is going to be like in 3-5 years from now when the core becomes eligible for extensions. If the right FA wants to come at the right price go for it but signing a 2nd tier FA just to say FA’s want to come to LA is a panic move. We are at best 2 years from a playoff team and 4 years from impacting the playoffs. Trying to make a FA splash now is premature. Drafting a Thon Maker is far to much a stretch at this point. Four year seniors who should be available are Payton Jr., Brice Johnson, Zach Auguste, Thomas Walkup. All 4 year seniors with very high PER. Thoughts?
I agree we are a few years away from making damage in the playoffs. However, in my mind that makes us prime to grab a few more youngsters with upside. There is nothing wrong with young and talented. That gives us the flexibility to make trades and be selective in free agent signings in the future.
Baylor Fan says
Thon seems like a good player to draft and stash in Europe and let him develop his game overseas. He appears to be too raw to get much time on the Lakers and the D-league is still lacking as a developmental league.
As much as I love this kid’s potential, I’m scared he will become the next Haseem Thabeet. A guy with the right size and enormous potential who never quite puts the two together. His handler was as misguided as Schae Cotton’s and Marcus Dupree’s. He should have been placed in a system to match his talents against tougher competition. Not only for evaluation purposes, but to improve his weaknesses and his basketball IQ. He will be drafted a whole lot later than people believe because he is too much of an unknown. A low second round pick may be enough. Too bad we don’t have one.
Personally, if I were the FO, I would reserve my Free Agents bucks for 2017 when Nerlens Noel and Giannis Antetokounmpo become Free Agents. Think of that length on your defense with Russell, Clarkson and Ingram!!!
I would love to see the Freak in Laker uni, but unless he wants to leave the frozen tundra and come to LA i would imagine the Bucks are going to go all out to sign him. Throw in the fact that he is RFA makes it highly unlikely he even hits the market unless he tells the Bucks he wants out.
These are the type of guys you offer max contracts to…High motor and quality people. Both are young and by the time Luke figures the system out, it will be a far better destination than their present…
George Best says
Maker will be available and the Lakers won’t draft him.
Having problems with Canadian High School kids doesn’t bode well for your NBA prospectus.
Marlon Blodgett says
I’m coming around to the wisdom out there about this makor kid. some of the film out there of him attacking are very interesting but, I agree with you guys that he isn’t ready, will get pounded by NBA Bigs and everyone else for possibly years. We must get a talent with upside with the 32nd that will improve our roster, our asset stockpile, and make our players compete harder for minutes and increase IQ and stability in our locker room.(1. Diamond stone-2. Stephen Zimmerman-3.Damian Jones 4.-Pascal Siakam -5. Robert Carter Jr- Take Taurean Prince or Brice johnson If they Fall wich is doubtful. But most of all is that we need to find a player who can make our team and stay in the NBA this entire season and years to come as a solid Pro- Happy Father’s day guys
A Horse With No Name says
wut happened to my post ?
A Horse with no name says
Really awful how Chad Ford’s vapid conjecture has been picked up by the net media. What a douche.
@Dom – I agree with all comments and Mitch may too -, he has said as much over time. Last year he talked about the value of 4-yr seniors when adding youth to an already young team, and then unearthed LNJ. [At #32, we’ll have good options for our bench there!] I doubt we pick up another long term project, based on his we-have-enough-youngins comment. Mitch also talked about adding quality veterans in the mix to have a good locker room, versus just max contracts. This suggest more of Marvin Williams / Horford / Bass type vets than Barnes and Biyombo.
Ingram is looking like a stud and I hope we get him next week. @Horse – Ford is a douche indeed. I attribute zero credibilty to his bul…report.
Chris J says
I loved it when Deadspin caught Chad Ford going back and retroactively changing the online records as to his draft predictions. What a douche, indeed.
On another subject, I hope the Warriors win this one, for the experience Walton gains from it.
The 95-96 Bulls would beat both these teams at the same time.Hell i take the 2000-2001 Lakers. Didn’t win that many games in the regular season but in the playoffs “turn it on” and swept the West and after dropping the first game in the Finals destroyed Allen Iverson’ Sixers with Kobe injured and not at 100% . If that team didn’t took it easy in the regular season that team could had won 70 games too.
Which 2nd round prospects have the lakers worked out?
So chad ford was changing his old mock drafts and player rankings to make it look like his a great talent evaluator.
Curry CHOKED… Best game of his life indeed…
Crazy some dude on YouTube predicted that the cavs would win a couple weeks ago, some conspiracy theory nut, using number codes
Chris J says
Matt — re: Chad Ford
As for tonight… Greatest team ever, my ass.
Oh well, Walton has learned from losing, which some say is more powerful.
One thing I assume he learned is that tough players are at times, key.
Chuck was right. I saw the pattern early own, they let Draymond had his way. Not Klay not Steph. The Warriors are a jump shooting team one dimensional. So many plays when they wasted perfectly good penetrations to either score or get fouled and they kick it out for the 3 point shot. They had nothing else. Curry saying that he had to have the best game of his life brought unnecessary presion on himself and he choked big time. The owner saying that they were “light years” ahead of everybody else came back and bite them. They have to make changes, can’t win just chucking 3s. And finally Lebron earned my total respect finally, he is the best player in the world. This nightmare season is over, time to start our rebuild…
Hard to respect somebody who flops so much…but yup I gained a little more respect for the Queen haha.
Anyway, the playoffs just showed how overrated Barnes and Ezeli are. Please Lakers, do not sign these guys. They disappeared and had almost no impact in the finals.
T. Rogers says
This series really bothered me as a fan of the NBA. It just really seemed bogus. And I don’t usually go that route with my criticism. I honestly have come away questioning the legitimacy of what I just saw. I won’t get into that here. I’ll just I’m glad the season is over. Not sure what to make of it all.
Some funny stuff with gsw, klay says we would beat showtime lakers, steph’s wife says it’s rigged (if it’s rigged steph will fall from grace because you said that).
Freaking dan gilbert got a trophy….. now i gotta hear lebron will leave clevand rumors, and I’m gonna hate it
Thon maker should be evaluated by lakers scouts who get paid to do that,,,, my evaluation is thon maker videos look like and1 mixtapes,,, red flag if he was done with high school why didn’t he go to college, one on one vs skal labissier he looked overwhelmed….. Sidenote he might be a better pro than dragen bender
T.rodgers.. feeling you on that
It’s difficult just finding his high school stats, let alone a video of him playing against other teams that isn’t a highlight reel mixtape…….
That is crazy, wait i saw video of him, youtube, thon maker vs jaylen brown adidas super64, still not a full game but seems legit
The Warriors got exposed as a jump shooting team. The Cavs shut down the unanimous MVP and his partner. The Unanimous MVP thing kind of bothered me. Neither MJ,Bird,Magic,Kobe ect ect couldn’t achieve something like that after monster seasons. Curry got unanimous MVP because we live in the PC era. He is a good guy and he goes to church and talks a lot about God. That’s why he was unanimously named MVP. During the season i noticed the arrogance which culminated on Klay talking all that good crap about beating Showtime and Steph unraveling the last 2 games. This team was talking a lot of crap about dinasties and all that with one measly championship. I hope this is a cautionary tale for the FO and Luke. You can’t win with a jump shooting team. If the Cavs had Irving last Finals they would’ve won it too. The Warriors are a 1 trick pony unless they change some things on that team. Lebron earned and deserve it…
Regardless of the Green suspension, I’ve got to give Cleveland a lot of credit. James and Irving were sensational the last 3 games. Golden State’s claim of re-inventing the game of basketball is a bit premature. Curry shooting balls from 30 feet looks great when they go in, but his game was exposed a bit. When the Cavs really turned the pressure up on him, and denied him the 3 ball, he couldn’t break it by driving to the hoop. His drives lacked force. It’ll be interesting to see how he moves forward.
To the victor belongs the spoils.
A Horse with no name says
There are of course, many reasons why the Warriors lost. Starting with LeBron and Kyrie, the two best players in the series. But if we remember the very dirty plays of Draymond Green against Steven Adams where he should have been suspended, but wasn’t; and then forcing the league’s hand with the weak shot at LeBron’s groin, which then allowed Cleveland to win a game and conveniently get the series to a seventh game and make the league more money, we can see a bad karma trail leading back to Draymond. This lost series is on him, and I couldn’t be happier. I despise dirty players (none more so than Kevin McHale) and love seeing them fail.
Horse, compared to McHale, Green is a boyscout. They still had a shot that game he was suspended that’s when they lost the series, they still choked it away. when your entire offense depends on chucking 3s sooner or later they won’t go in. Great teams find a way. The Warriors are not in that category.
J C says
Wow. Hope this answers questions about Ezeli (worthless) and Barnes (definitely not worth close to max.)
Per Fern’s comment – yes it would have been good coaching to tell Steph and Klay to mix it up. Take it to the rack a few times in a row, then next time pull up for a 3. They’re perfectly capable of breaking down a defender and making the defense work. But they didn’t. They overplayed the 3 card and it caught up to them. They also missed Bogut but no excuses – Cleveland deserved to win.
Gotta give Lebron his due.
And Kyrie too! Very talented player that stepped up big time when it mattered.
For a while, that old saying, ‘Live by the 3, Die by the 3´ seemed to be passe, but it’s as true as ever.
im also glad that the season is over, and we’re now waiting for draft night.
the way the finals ended was a bit disturbing, but acceptable since I have no choice, haha. I’d be a mad fan if Lakers were beaten when we’re up by 3-1 in the Finals, although we were beaten by Phoenix but it was only 1st round playoffs.
this season, no strong team was strong enough to win it all. the Dubs are way ahead of every team this season, and yet they came in short. conspiracies here and there. we all play and love basketball, but to me, there’s an asterisk on this Finals.
dont get me wrong; the Cavs is a strong team, however I felt that they got away with more calls/decisions that favored them to still win it all, even after trailing 1-3.
games 5 and 6 were not good to watch. the game was terrible, made me remember when we faced Detroit circa 2004. that Lakers team would have won it all, but did not because of very bad games.
but I am moving on and congratulating the Cleveland Cavaliers for their 1st championship. I just hope it will only be a 1 and done trophy.
Trade rumors, d’angelo russell, need to stop
Nik, I think you will be one of few on that bandwagon.
There are so many flaws in that idea, I can’t take the time to address them.
Nik Kannan says
KevTheBold – Mainly the few too many beers I was drinking.
But – I think it is a better plan for win now than throwing a bunch of 20 year old kids on the court with a rookie coach.
Altemawa – Your post is even more absurd than mine – though what if we could Coupe Boogie, Butler, and KD???.
Seriously Tho – If we remained objective, we all know the refs or NBA were doing the best they could. With the luxory of replay & the fact that Draymond should have been suspended in the West Co Finals – That isn’t really a thing. You can look at it really only one way- #32 for the Cavs won that series for his team w lots of help from the 2nd best player in the series, his buddy Kyrie.
I think GS will make line up changes. Clearly they need a mobile big that can score down low to take some heat off the perimeter. Curry and Thompson did not get great looks the last three games because the Cav’s wings could overplay the jumper.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Warriors make a big push for Whiteside. He would provide the missing inside threat to open up the perimeter. Clearly Ezeli is expendable. Bogut is a shell of his healthy self and Speights is just a guy. Based on his playoff performance Barnes can be resigned on the cheap.
GS really missed Bogut, messed up their rotations… but even more so they missed David Lee … David was the difference last year as he was the one guy scoring in the post for them that they lost as a team when they let him go
seemed like GS was always a 3 away from going on a big run but they just never got their D together
The Lakers need to crawl, walk run with this rebuild.
There’s nothing wrong with getting a lot of young talented kids and letting them play together this season. Let’s see what we have and what we need.
The Summer of 2017 is a free agent bonanza. Let the other teams use cap space on fringe vets this off-season. Next summer we’ll be among a handful of teams with a ton of space. Don’t underestimate how attractive young emerging talent is for an elite free agent.
If success is based on a playoff run this next season then you’ll be disappointed. If success is based on kicking the league’s ass for much of the next decade then we’re headed in the right direction.
but even more so they missed David Lee
Umm.. Lee was traded mid season last year to the Celtics (who used him sparingly). Lee is done as a player. If you meant to say they missed a young and healthy Lee then I agree with your comment.
If success is based on kicking the league’s ass for much of the next decade then we’re headed in the right direction.
That should be the FO’s goal.
T. Rogers says
One trick ponies don’t win 73 games. Yes, they rely on jumpers a lot. But they are more than a jump shooting team.
If Draymond Green is what constitutes a dirty player then the league truly has gone soft. Rodman and Malone literally wrestled one another under the rim during Finals games. That included elbows, forearms, slaps, and tripping. There was hitting above the neck and below the waist. Neither was ever suspended.
I’m not one of those old guys panning for the “good ole days” of the 90’s. I just have a problem with taking players off the floor and effectively turning the series to another teams favor.The players should decide the outcome. Not the league office. The lack of consistency is a bad look. That’s just my opinion.
At the end of the day GS got out coached. Ezeli and Barnes were horrible. Verajoa was equally bad. The loss of Bogut really screwed up there rotation and defense. Kerr made no adjustments and couldnt seem to find any way to get Steph or Klay open consistently. Good thing was we know emphatically Ezeli and Barnes are not max type FA. Stay far away from both. Given the result of the finals i think KD may opt for GS as his best chance for a ring. With him on the floor you dont dare double team steph or Klay. Barkley said it best this Dub team is the 2007 Patriots. You gotta close they didnt. Ezeli missed every shot he took and Barnes cant box out to save his life. In the end the playoff physicality rendered Steph completely ineffective. He looked tired and beat up at the end.
A Horse With No Name says
T. Rodgers: No amount of “old school” spin can explain away two blatant and forceful kicks to the groin of another player, unable to protect himself. It was dirty and dangerous. Draymond should have served a multi game suspension. Explaining it away as a sign of the league becoming soft is the stuff of tough talking guys who aren’t.
Lebron coming to the lakers talk is already started, and it makes me wanna choke someone