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Ranking the Roster 2018: Toodle-oo To Thon Maker

The spindly center gets the boot

NBA: Playoffs-Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

And so we reach the point where a rookie contract and the briefest flashes of competence finally weren’t enough to keep Thon Maker around. After showing out in his first Playoff run against Toronto, Thon seemed poise for the type of second year mini-leap that could serve as a coronation for John Hammond turning the draft upside down with Maker’s early selection. Instead, that prospect fizzled out faster than a ball slipping out of Maker’s buttery mitts.

It’s hard to quantify last season as anything but a complete disaster for Maker, sans his performance against Boston. He seemed to regress defensively, particularly when Milwaukee shied away from the switch-heavy scheme that aligns best with his skillset. He showed little to no feel when it came to playing a dropback big who has to patrol the paint. His turnover percentage went up even as his usage rate went down. His effective field goal percentage was a piddly 45.8%, ranked in just the 4th percentile among all bigs, per Cleaning the Glass.

Even the one skill folks hoped might develop from year one to two, his 3-point shot, dipped from 37.5% to only 30.6%. Perhaps that shouldn’t have been too surprising given he only had 64 attempts from deep his rookie season, but even just 97 last year is a small sample size. I’d say the jury is still out on whether his jumper can be passable, but hopefully Bud’s staff can work a little magic with him this summer. The team was abhorrent with him on the court last year two, -10 point per 100 differential in nearly 1200 minutes, per Cleaning the Glass.

Yet, there’s a reason he’s lasted all the way to seventh in this exercise. Assuredly, the energy and defensive acumen he displayed against Boston last year injected a couple cc’s of hope into the hearts of Bucks fans everywhere. Were he to have bombed his way there too, his narrative going into this year would be even more glum than what it is now. One has to hope Bud finds a way to maximize his athleticism defensively while finding a narrow lane for him to swim through offensively. His suspect hands mean rim-rolling will likely never be his forte, but developing some pick-and-pop chemistry with Milwaukee’s primary creators will go a long way if his 3-pointer manages to rebound.

Speaking of rebounding, if he can grab any of those, that’s just a bonus. For now though, we’ll see if he can take the basic steps towards becoming a productive player who contributes to a winning basketball team.

Brew Hoop Roster Ranking

  1. ______________
  2. ______________
  3. ______________
  4. ______________
  5. ______________
  6. ______________
  7. Thon Maker
  8. Donte DiVincenzo
  9. Tony Snell
  10. Sterling Brown
  11. Pat Connaughton
  12. Matthew Dellavedova
  13. John Henson
  14. Christian Wood
  15. Tyler Zeller
  16. Shabazz Muhammad
  17. D.J. Wilson


The next least valuable Buck is...

This poll is closed

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    Ersan Ilyasova
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408 votes total Vote Now