Why, John Hammond, why? Why did you select a player whose talent is more in line with second round draft pick than a first rounder? I understand the rule of not making a trade just to make a trade, but why wouldn’t you trade down if the player you drafted was projected to be available well into the back of the first round? Is Thon Maker going to be a piece of the puzzle that brings the Bucks back into relevance? The selection of Maker is puzzling at best and horrendous at worst.
While the NBA draft was not full of talent like next years is projected to be, there were still quality players like Denzel Valentine and Henry Ellenson on the board when the Bucks made their selection. If the goal is to be a paltry team this year and try to grab a top selection in next year’s draft, I can live with that, but this team isn’t going to be a bottom of the barrel team next year. The Bucks have way too much young talent that is progressing year after year under the tutelage of head coach Jason Kidd to not be fighting for a playoff spot next season. The Bucks were the tenth worst team in the league last year but they were also one of the youngest both in terms of age and basketball experience. While a rookie available at the tenth pick is unlikely to lead the Bucks to the playoffs, there were nice pieces left to grab that could have contributed. As it stands, Maker is not expected to contribute in any meaningful way for years to come.
When the Bucks selected Giannis Antetokounmpo with the 15th pick in the 2013 draft he was a project player who was clearly very athletic and very young. After three years in the NBA Antetokounmpo is still only 21 years old and has progressed into being one of the most exciting young players in the league. Thon is nowhere near the caliber of player that Giannis is, even when comparing them prior to coming to the NBA. Maker couldn’t even dominate the Canadian high school basketball scene, how is he going to compete in the professional American league?
Thon Maker will be riding the bench for three years, coming in to get “experience” at the end of meaningless basketball games before being released when the team option comes up. Maybe the Bucks send Maker to the Developmental League and hope that he can develop a decent low post game there before calling him up to play in Milwaukee. But what happens when Maker can’t even compete in the D-League?
I am all for the feel good story, but this was Hammond swinging for the fences because he didn’t see any good players left. I guess if you don’t think there is any NBA level talent remaining in the draft, why not roll the dice on the guy that young know least about and is 7’1”. Who knows, I could be eating my words in 2020 when Maker is contributing for a NBA playoff team, but I doubt it.