Makur Maker sets sights on 2020 NBA draft

Josh Green may be joined by another Australian in the 2020 NBA draft class.

Makur Maker, originally from Perth, has submitted paperwork to explore his eligibility in next year's draft . Yes, that's right, MaKur with a K. Don't be confused with his cousin Matur Maker, who recently signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Houston Rockets. Makur also has a cousin in Thon Maker, who plays for the Detroit Pistons. All three Makers have the same guardian, a basketball coach named Ed Smith.

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Ed Smith describes Makur Maker as a modern day point forward. The 6'11 big man is capable of handling the ball in the open court and doesn't hesitate to shoot 3s. With standout performances on both the high school scene and the AAU circuit, his draft stock has slowly risen. Makur was previously thought to be a candidate for the NBL's "Next stars" program, but he now has a chance to leap into the big time.

In 2016, Thon Maker was the first player to jump from high school to the NBA in over a decade. NBA draft rules require prospects to be at least 19 years of age and one year removed from high school. Thon met the criteria by staying in high school for an extra year as a postgraduate senior. His cousin now aims to follow a similar pathway.

Makur Maker currently attends Pacific Academy, a preparatory school school in California with a new basketball program. He previously attended Orange Lutheran High School (also in California), until he exhausted his 8 semesters of eligibility. Maker was set to graduate with his class at Orange Lutheran in mid-2019, but fell 2 credits short of receiving a high school diploma.

As per ESPN, Makur Maker petitioned the NBA for inclusion in next year's draft by submitting his high school transcripts. The NBA Players Association is reportedly "helping Makur to get eligible", and they expect him to get the green light. He was recently ranked 21st in ESPN's first mock draft for 2021, proving that NBA scouts have him firmly on their radar.

In the meantime, Makur Maker will retain his college eligibility as he explores his options.

Maker recently visited Howard University, and has offers from several schools. However, given that his cousins Thon and Matur bypassed college, a professional career seems more likely. The only question is: will it be the NBA?