In advance of the 2020 NBA Draft, Peachtree Hoops is evaluating prospects with a look at what the Atlanta Hawks might be considering from now until the selection process occurs. Dozens of prospects will be profiled in this space and, in this installment, we break down one of the most prominent international high school prospects in Makur Maker.
Makur Maker is sure to be a prospect that will garner some attention, simply with the mention of his last name. His cousin, Thon Maker, is already in the NBA as a part of the Detroit Pistons. His other cousin, Matur Maker, went undrafted in 2019, but currently is playing with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the G League. Similar to his cousins, Makur Maker has a 6-foot-11 frame and his skill set that is potentially enticing at the professional level. Maker is known for being able to handle the ball and create shots for himself and others in a non-prototypical way for a player of his size and projected role.
We do not have a whole lot to go on by the way of statistics when it comes to Makur Maker, but there are some measurables we can draw assumptions from. However, because there is not much substance to go on, Maker will likely end up going the way of his cousin Matur, simply due to the great risk involved in selecting a player with very little scouting material available. Maker was most heavily recruited by Oregon but decided to petition for entry in the 2020 NBA Draft. From there, he was officially granted eligibility despite being two credits short of graduating high school. Maker officially declared on April 25th.
Maker garnered some outstanding marks throughout his high school career and was ranked by Rivals as the 17th overall best high school prospect in the nation. 247Sports ranked him 12th and ESPN had him within their top 15. Maker’s most recent high school transfer — he transferred four (!) times in high school — was to Hillcrest Prep Academy in Arizona. Through all his eligibility problems, Maker only played one game for Hillcrest in which he scored 20 points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished four assists, blocked three shots and stole the ball three times just for good measure.
Maker’s strengths basically boil down to his ability to put the ball on the floor, his size and his athleticism. He is super inconsistent from beyond the arc, but Maker can shoot the ball from distance. His biggest weakness, and likely the thing that will limit him in the NBA, is his lack of consistent play. Maker does not have hours of tape to look back at and scouts seem to project him as a pick destined for a late second round landing spot, if he goes at all in this draft.
In some ways, Maker may have been wiser to go to college and try to build up his value. Because of the uncertainty, his path likely seems to include the G League, whether he’s drafted in the second round or not, where he could end up fading out completely without some major development help. There are a lot of tools there, but NBA front offices appear likely going to keep their distance, at least to some degree, in the draft.
With the Atlanta Hawks having just one pick in the second round at No. 52 overall, they are one of the teams that fall in the possible range of taking a chance on a guy like Maker. If past experience is any indicator, though, that pick may end up being sold/traded on draft night and there is often a great deal of movement in the latter stages of the second round.