It has been a busy week for draft workout rumors involving the Atlanta Hawks. The latest indicates that 7-1 prospect Thon Maker has a workout scheduled with the Hawks on Friday according to SNY.tv's Adam Zagoria.
7-footer Thon Maker works out for Utah today and then Atlanta on Friday, source tells @SNYtv. Also has Detroit & Indiana w/in the next week.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 25, 2016
Maker is one of the more interesting prospects in the Draft pool. He will be the first player to make the jump from straight out of high school in 11 years.
Not since the league instituted a rule in the 2005 Collective Bargaining Agreement that U.S. players be at least 19 and one year removed from the graduation of their high school class, has a player made the leap from preps to the NBA. But Maker's case was open to interpretation.
He turned 19 in February and argued he actually earned his high school diploma in 2015, even though he spent a fifth year at Athlete Institute Prep in Mono, Ontario, about 90 minutes from Toronto.
The league ruled him eligible about a month before the Draft Combine. The hype surrounding him over the last couple of years has cooled substantially. DraftExpress.com has him at Pick No. 40 in their latest mock draft and writes that he has struggled to separate himself from other prospects in many of the events he has appeared at.
At best he is a high-upside work in progress. The question for a lot of teams may be, can he develop fast enough to warrant picking him?
His competitiveness, physicality and intensity level are impressive for a 7-footer with a 9'3 standing reach, and the fact that he's been able to add some bulk to his upper body and can knock down an open 3-pointer at times bodes well for his role-playing potential. So will his work ethic and strong character. Still, his lack of offensive polish, pencil thin legs, average feel for the game and explosiveness suggest that may be the extent of his long-term upside. And considering how big the jump is from high school basketball to the NBA, it will likely take years to achieve that, which some teams may feel is not worth the time or effort it will require.