High school star enters the NBA draft

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By Garrett Baker, Live stream Executive Editor

Thon Maker, a 7 foot basketball star, has decided to surpass college and take his talents right to the NBA from Canada.  But will Maker just turn into another draft bust or the leagues newest sensation?

Upon hearing the news most people were confused as was I. In 2006 the NBA set the rule that no high school player could be drafted right into the league because of physicality and maturity issues. So how can Maker enter the draft?

He used a route not many take, wait a year playing for an international or private team and then enter into the NBA at the age of 19.

Maker spent his year out of high school playing with his younger brother, Matur, for Canada Elite where he could work on his craft.

With an extraordinary 7 foot 2 inches wingspan to go along with height he brings a lot to the table in terms of size.

What he is lacking though is the physicality that big men should have under the basket with his small frame and skinny arms.

With everything in mind the question lingers, what position will Maker be put into?

While he displays an impressive set of dribbling skills and a great outside shot he would be unsuccessful to try at the guard position.

Other elite guards like Stephen Curry or Russell Westbrook would run right under Maker, stripping the ball right from him every time and beating him with their quick moves.

He is listed as a power forward or center on his draft profile but I see him fitting more into the small forward position.

The NBA is much different than high school basketball and although 7 foot seems tall for a small forward keep in mind that Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant stands at 6 feet 9 inches as a small forward.

During his stint in the league I foresee Maker having 14 years as a pro, making six all-star teams, being on the first team all NBA one year, while playing in the rising stars game his second year.

He won’t be a lottery pick for the draft but will still be in the upper to middle first round. Maker is a gamble for most NBA teams to take; he has extreme potential but doesn’t have the high level of experience that college players gained.

Upon entering the league the trainers will have their work cut out for them, although Maker has a good deal of speed it will definitely need to increase to even compete with the likes of LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard.

The team must also put him in the weight room to build up his strength. Maker has height but he is no Manute Bol, so to avoid the bullying ensued under the basket by his peers his strength must increase.

If I could compare him to an NBA player it would obviously be Milwaukee Bucks dual threat Giannis Antetokounmpo, who stands at a mighty 6 feet 11 inches with skills and length that is unprecedented.

After I viewed Maker’s highlight tape it was clear to me how similar the two giants are.

They both have gigantic arms and legs that look as if they stretch a mile with skills that you wouldn’t expect a man that size to have.

Maker will not be as successful as Antetokounmpo though, he is not as, athletic, strong or fast as “the Greek freak”.

Although he just finished up a third year in the league Antetekounmpo has made a name for himself and this last year was a breakthrough in his game, showing his true talent.

But all in all Maker will be no legend but he will also be no bust, he has a solid work ethic and good potential that could give him a good time in the NBA.