Milwaukee Bucks rookie Thon Maker does not lack confidence. In fact, he envisions himself as the second coming of an NBA legend who is a monster on both ends of the court: All-Star forward and future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett:
“I’m a modern-day version of Kevin Garnett.”
Maker towers over opponents at 7’1″ but he is not your typical big man. In pre-draft videos circulating online, Maker was seen displaying handles and the vision of a guard along with the smooth shooting touch of a wing player. It is safe to say he is more of a face-up guy rather than back to the basket big man. He could utilize his height and 7-foot-3 wingspan in creating shots for his teammates, much like what his teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo has been doing for Bucks.
However, the Garnett 2.0 hype should be checked, according to one former NBA player and assistant coach, Stacey Augmon. For him, Maker’s game resembles another South Sudan legend whose height would make the rookie dwarf in comparison.
In a report from Woelfel’s Press Box, Augmon said:
“I definitely compare Maker to Manute Bol,” said Augmon, referring to the 7-foot-7 Bol, who played 10 seasons in the NBA and was one of the league’s most imposing defenders. “I believe Maker can make the 3-pointer better than Manute but, on the defensive end, they are similar. He (Maker) covers a lot of ground and alters a lot of shots just like Manute Bol.”
Unfortunately, Bol died in 2010 at a young age of 47 due to kidney failure. When it comes to defense, few did it better than Bol. He even holds the NBA record as the only player to have more block shots (2,086) than points (1,599) in his career.
Thon Maker will be pressured to live up to these comparisons. But first, he will have to fight for his minutes on a team loaded with height and length, featuring Jabari Parker, Greg Monroe, Antetokounmpo, John Henson, Khris Middleton, Michael Carter-Williams, and Miles Plumlee.