7-Footer, Former Lottery Pick Wants To Join Brooklyn Nets This Season

Pascal Siakam drives towards hoop

Getty Pascal Siakam takes Thon Maker to the bucket.

In January the Nets G-League affiliate, Long Island Nets, announced the signing of former Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Piston’s big man Thon Maker. Maker, a 7-footer, was selected 10th overall by the Bucks in the 2016 NBA Draft after coming straight out of high school. Maker’s most recent appearance in the NBA was last season when he played 8 games with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Per Basketball Reference, Maker averages 4.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 0.6 assists per game for his career.

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Thon Maker Working Towards NBA Call Up

So far during his stint in Long Island, Maker has proven to be a solid player. Per the G-League website Maker has averaged 6.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per game in 11 games for the Nets. While he is still settling into his role with the Nets’ G-League affiliate, Maker’s ultimate goal is to get called up to the main roster according to Alec Sturm of NetsDaily.

“Maker’s goal with Long Island is simple: Like any other G League player, he’s working towards an NBA call-up,” Sturm writes per NetsDaily. “But [Maker] says he is present and in the moment with his current team.”

The Nets have had a few success stories of former G-League players who have ultimately made it to the main roster. Cam Thomas and Kessler Edwards who have become important fixtures on the main roster also spent time in Long Island this season. While Maker is hopeful that he’ll eventually get the call-up his focus is on improving his game each day.

“I’m not one foot in one foot out. I want to focus on where I’m at right then and there. And whether there’s attacking each day, practice, each game, shoot-around, or whatever it is, I’m just locked in, and then the chips will fall wherever they fall. But I’m here 100%,” Maker said per NetsDaily.

Maker also says that the development process in Long Island has almost been seamless as the Nets have a well-run system in place.

“They have a great development standard set already. So, you [can] just insert a player and everything runs smoothly. When I first got here, they explained everything to me about how they go about developing players, and how they run the whole organization, [and] how they want hard-working people,” Maker continued.

“At the same time, it’s not like they’re restricting you from doing stuff. It’s just more of, ‘okay, this is what we do. We know it works. And we need you to kind of go along with it.’ And so far, you know, it’s been really fun.”

Maker Focused on Finding Basketball Identity

Another thing that Maker and the Nets’ development staff have honed in on is finding out the 7-footer’s true identity as a player. While it may not seem like that important of a factor, Maker says it is essential to know what parts of the game he can impact for NBA teams that are interested in him. Whether that be the Nets or somebody else.

“The biggest goal would be to have an identity that I know,” Maker added. “[That way, if] a team hits me up, I can say, ‘okay, this is what you’re going to get out of Thon Maker,’ right. That’s what I’m building over here, and the coaching staff knows it and they’re helping me through it.”

The Long Island Nets have had several noteworthy players eventually get the call up to join the main roster. With the team still being somewhat thin at the center position, Maker could be the next success story.

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