Bucks Lead

Will Maker Remain with Bucks?

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The Milwaukee Bucks selected center Thon Maker in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft. As a high risk take at the time, Milwaukee felt as if they could get a steal with the seven-foot center from Australia. It worked with Giannis Antetokounmpo, so why couldn’t it work here? Unfortunately, Maker has not developed as quickly as the Bucks or the city of Milwaukee would have hoped. Last week, Thon’s agent made it known that his client would prefer to play for a team that could further develop him– and he could be right.

 

Through his three seasons with Milwaukee, Thon has been a roller coaster of a NBA player. At times, he has shown a spark to the point that fans have called for more playing time. Other times, however, it is clear as day that there is much more work to be done. A year ago, no one would have imagined that the Bucks would be at the top of the Eastern Conference and a threat to make the finals this season, but here we are. Where does Thon stand? Unfortunately, not at the level the Bucks need.

Thon Feeling The Pressure Of Wood?

No G-League assignee is making as much noise as Christian Wood. During his time spent with the Bucks affiliate, Wood has averaged 28.4 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.3 blocks over 35.1 minutes per game. That statline is beyond impressive no matter the setting. The standout has worked hard enough to deserve to showcase his talent in the NBA. When numbers are being produced like that, it’s not hard to imagine that Thon believes his time as a key player on the Bucks is fading.

There is a place for Thon in the NBA. His size and skillsets are unique and the right team could develop him to a reliable starter. Sadly, that place might not be in the Cream City. Milwaukee is competing now, and their time needs to be spent building around Giannis and working on reaching the finals. Developing players is always a task, but Thon needs more attention than the Bucks can give.

Staying Is Always Possible

Now it isn’t guaranteed that the Bucks will deal Maker. The organization clearly sees something special with the 21-year-old and wants to make this work. If Maker does stay, there is a potential diamond in the rough. Taking the time to develop Thon to his full potential could pay dividends for the Bucks. A seven-foot three-point shooter with length to help compliment the team is tough to come by. It is understandable why Milwaukee would like to hold on to a player like that. They knew it when they drafted him– a high risk, but maybe even a higher reward. In the end though, it will come down to if the Bucks believe they can develop Maker to his full potential and if it will be worth the wait.

No One To Blame

In this situation, people could sit and think about who to point fingers at, but in the end there isn’t anyone to blame. Majority of people knew Thon would be a work in progress– it’s just unfortunate that the Bucks progressed so much that the development plan for Maker fell behind. The locker room loves Maker, and he deserves the best, but that could very well be elsewhere. With Christian Wood coming up hot on Maker’s heels and with the bench stepping up more than ever, it seems inevitable that Maker’s career with the Bucks is coming to an end.

Whatever happens, it must be for the Bucks’ best interest and Thon’s as well. Teams must strike while the iron is hot and for Milwaukee, it has never been hotter. Windows for teams can close faster than one thinks. With a superstar in Giannis and a brilliant coach in Mike Budenholzer, it is not time to focus on developing players, but instead focus on winning.

The NBA trade deadline commences next Thursday at 3 PM ET.

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About Melissa Colton

Melissa was born and raised in West Allis, WI, but currently resides in Milwaukee. She is a veteran of the United States Army and has a Bachelors Degree in Sport Management. She has worked in both the sports and music industry. Anything from Wisconsin, sports, food, and beer is her happy place.

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