Luke Maye could prove to be one of the most head-scratching cases when it comes to the 2019 NBA Draft. On the surface, the UNC Tar Heels forward has become an incredibly productive player capable of doing a bit of everything. But there are some questions about areas of Maye’s game which could lead to him struggling at the next level.
The 6-foot-8 prospect posted averages of 16.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game last season while shooting 48.6 percent from the field. Not surprisingly, a loaded freshman class for Roy Williams led to Maye’s numbers dipping just a bit this season, but he’s still impressed.
Although Maye has attempted 1.6 fewer shots per game on average to this point, he’s posted marks of 14.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. His shooting percentage has dropped to 43.5 percent while he’s knocked down fewer shots from beyond the arc as well. On the positive side, he’s improved as a free throw shooter and is a force on the boards.
Luke Maye Mock Drafts Omit UNC Forward
There hasn’t been much love for Maye, largely due to a few issues with his size and how it’ll transition to the NBA game. In a mock draft from NBA Draft Room, he was left just outside of the second round and listed one of the first prospects in the “on the bubble” section. That seems to be a common theme, but what stands out is looking back at the 2018 draft.
Had Maye entered that draft, some believe he could have heard his name come off the board. DraftSite.com previously had projections in early-2018 which featured the UNC forward as a mid-first round selection. Later on in the year, those projections were pushed to the middle of the second round.
Basketball Society’s Myicha Drakeford offered an interesting evaluation of Maye while detailing a few of his key weaknesses ahead of the 2019 draft. This included his struggles with shooting in traffic along with his defense.
Maye also has his struggles when shooting in traffic, especially if the defender is taller than him. He sometimes rushes his shot and that also plays a role in him becoming too passive when his shots aren’t falling.
Maye’s defense is particularly streaky at times. He struggles to guard quicker players which causes him to get into foul trouble a lot and he doesn’t collect many steals and blocks due to his below average level of athleticism. This is the biggest key for him if he ever wants to make it to the NBA.
Luke Maye NBA Draft Prediction
Although the bulk of mock drafts don’t have Maye being selected at all, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him as a late pick in the second round. It’s going to take a big showing during the NCAA tournament and strong combine performance, but there are a number of teams late in the draft who could take a chance on Maye and stash him.
I’d be interested to see if the Milwaukee Bucks (No. 60), Golden State Warriors (No. 58), or Charlotte Hornets (No. 57) look to add him late. The Hornets have ties to UNC with owner Michael Jordan, of course, and it could help the outlook for Maye. In a worst-case scenario, he should be a player signed shortly after the draft.