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Where to for NBA enigma Thon Maker?
Thon Maker is an NBA enigma. He has the potential skillset to be an excellent player at the top level of the game, however hasn't quite been able to put it all together.
He was moved from Milwaukee to Detroit as he wasn't getting the opportunity he needed with the Bucks. A change of scenery appeared to be what Maker needed, especially learning under the tutelage of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond, but the big leap is yet to happen.
That said, the 23-year-old is in his first full season with Detroit after only being traded in the middle of last year. His numbers in 2019/20 are on par with his career stats, but since the Andre Drummond trade, he has seen an improvement.
Life without Andre
Long-time Pistons centre, Drummond, was traded in early February and since then Maker has played 12 games, starting in seven of those. His numbers have seen a serious boost, playing 19 minutes per game, and averaging 7.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1 block per outing.
The Aussie is the only true centre on the Detroit roster, and his mobility and athleticism are suited to the modern game. The rise of Christian Wood has no doubt thrown somewhat of a spanner in the works, however the two could easily co-exist if Wood decided to stay in Detroit next season.
Head coach Dwane Casey seems to be a fan of Maker's, which is no surprise considering his heart and hustle when on the floor. If Casey remains head coach, no doubt that support will play firmly into the Australian's hands.
Whether the current situation is a long-term solution is the big question for both the Pistons front office and Maker himself.
At just 23, Maker still has a long way to go in development and it's not as though the Pistons are pushing for a title at the moment. It would seem fullish if they were to move on from him, although there is little doubting that he would find a new home.
Maker is currently in the final year of his rookie deal, which means he will be a restricted free agent when he hits the market. This obviously puts Detroit in the box seat if they wish to retain him, however, if someone is willing to take a risk with a big offer, they may decide to let him leave.
He seems ready to explode, but clearly he will need to rebuild the momentum he was gathering after the Drummond trade, when the league resumes.
Whether it be in Detroit or not, Aussie fans are just hoping that Thon can reach his ridiculously exciting potential.