By Adam Paris
And so we reach the point where a rookie contract and the briefest flashes of competence finally weren’t enough to keep Thon Maker around. After showing out in his first Playoff run against Toronto, Thon seemed poise for the type of second year mini-leap that could serve as a coronation for John Hammond turning the draft upside down with Maker’s early selection. Instead, that prospect fizzled out faster than a ball slipping out of Maker’s buttery mitts.
It’s hard to quantify last season as anything but a complete disaster for Maker, sans his performance against Boston. He seemed to regress defensively, particularly when Milwaukee shied away from the switch-heavy scheme that aligns best with his skillset. He showed little to no feel when it came to playing a dropback big who has to patrol the paint. His turnover percentage went up even as his usage rate went down. His effective field goal percentage was a piddly 45.8%, ranked in just the 4th percentile among all bigs, per Cleaning the Glass.
Even the one skill folks hoped might develop from year one to two, his 3-point shot, dipped from 37.5% to only 30.6%. Perhaps that shouldn’t have been too surprising given he only had 64 attempts from deep his rookie season, but even just 97 last year is a small sample size. I’d say the jury is still out on whether his jumper can be passable, but hopefully Bud’s staff can work a little magic with him this summer. The team was abhorrent with him on the court last year two, -10 point per 100 differential in nearly 1200 minutes, per Cleaning the Glass....