For two years, Thon Maker has lived in YouTube folklore as the next extraterrestrial NBA superstar. His combination of size, range and handle drew comparisons to Kevin Durant, but after closer evaluations, those comparisons have drifted to the wayside. Maker isn’t a fan of the mixtape hype either, and he isn’t the fluid athlete or deadeye shooter that Durant is. Except, that self-acknowledgement didn’t stop the Sudanese native from declaring for this year’s draft.
NBA teams are still drawn to Maker’s physical tools and possible potential. He’s been slotted to go in the mid-to-late first round, but recent uncertainty around his age could drop him out of the first round completely.
Occasionally, this happens with international prospects. Maker is a Sudanese native who grew up in Australia. He finished his final two years of high school basketball in Canada and found a nifty loophole that allowed him to bypass college for the NBA. Maker’s background is a core piece to the cloud of mystery that surrounds him. Scouts haven’t been able to see him in a traditional basketball structure in the United States, and a scout expressed to The Undefeated the conundrum in evaluating and drafting prospect like Maker.
“There are two questions about him going into the draft. The first is: Can he play? The second is: If you’re the guy who’s going to draft him, how big are your balls?”
That quandary grows even more complicated with the uncertainty around Maker’s age. There’s a distinct difference in a prospect at age 19 and age 22. Selecting Thon Maker in the first round is a leap of faith, and that leap just became a bit bigger.