Maker shines for the Suns and Pacers
Thon Maker continues to make the most of his opportunities in impressing NBA teams at pre-draft workouts. Maker has further enhanced his chances of being selected in the first round of the NBA Draft by performing and interviewing strongly in front of the Phoenix Suns and Indiana Pacers.
In leaving nothing to chance, Maker has been busy in making every effort to improve his current draft stock. He has already worked out last week in front of executives from 25 of the 30 NBA teams, with reports suggesting that he impressed and looks a likely first round pick. Maker also reportedly impressed the Utah coaching staff following one of his most recent workouts. By all reports, the Suns workout was no different.
In Phoenix as part of a loaded group, Maker worked out alongside the likes of Damian Jones (Vanderbilt), Michael Gbinje (Syracuse), Robert Carter Jr (Maryland), Tyler Ulis (Kentucky) and Perry Ellis (Kansas).
Speaking to the media after his on-court workout with the Suns, Maker was under no illusion as to what he had to do to impress and work his way into the first round of the draft.
"I just got to go out an play, and not try and prove anything," shared Maker.
"I just need to compete at all times...I have got to keep my composure, relax, cool down and get it going. I've just got to have fun with it really, and that will force me to play."
With impressive size, solid handles and an ability to shoot beyond the NBA three-point line, Maker remains an intriguing prospect for NBA teams. Yet his efforts at the Suns trials did not go unnoticed.
"He's a very skilled player," said Suns assistant general manager Pat Connelly.
"He's very good with the ball for his size. He shot it pretty well. He plays really hard."
Maker was also proactive in ensuring everyone was aware that his talents extended beyond being able to terrorise opposition defenses, advising that he was also very capable in leading and marshaling his side defensively.
"It's the same language in basketball [regardless of age]," Maker said. "I talk to anyone. If they're slacking on defense, you've got to tell them so they can pick it up. I want to win."
Maker immediately followed up with a trip to Indiana, being put through his paces in a group featuring Jake Layman (Mayland), Retin Obasohan (Alabama), Shavon Shields (Nebraska), Fred VanVleet (Wichita State) and Stephen Zimmerman (UNLV).
In his post workout interview, Maker had no hesitation in comparing his game to that of Kevin Garnett and
"I compare myself to Kevin Garnett," explained Maker. "I enjoy watching Kevin Durant."
"[With regards to Garnett] the intensity stands out, and I try to bring that no matter what. If my shot is not working, I just try to go as hard as I can both offensively and defensively."
In relation to building up to the NBA Draft, Maker explained that he was just focused on being himself.
"It's been fun for me - I'm just being me," stated Maker.
Maker's work ethic, passion for the game and great temperament have NBA teams circling. If he can continue his current progress, he is sure to work his way into becoming a first round selection in the 2016 NBA Draft.