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Thon Maker gaining ‘a lot of confidence’ from Detroit’s training approach

Time is running out on Thon Maker fulfilling the potential that made him the surprise No. 10 overall pick of the 2016 draft. In fact, any hope of him developing into a true two-way impact player has almost faded entirely. But not every lottery selection can turn out to be a star, and it’s not too late for Maker to prove himself as a viable rotation player in the NBA – assuming he improves in 2019-20, of course.

The Detroit Pistons big man has been honing his craft this summer in Los Angeles, occasionally under the watchful eye of assistant coaches who have periodically traveled to check in on him. Maker believes the Pistons have struck an appropriate balance between ensuring he’s working on the right aspects of his game and letting him dictate his training, a tricky balancing act that’s apparently instilled some much-needed confidence in the 22-year-old.

“That gave me a lot of confidence,” Maker said of Detroit’s approach, per Olgon Uluc of Fox Sports Australia. “A lot of confidence.

“It just shows you the level of trust they have, to keep an eye on me, but also for me to come back and show them what I’ve been working on. They’re not gonna be too hands on, but they’re sending coaches.”

Maker was acquired by Detroit at the trade deadline after previously requesting to be dealt from the Milwaukee Bucks, with whom he’d fallen out of the rotation. His struggles followed him to the Motor City, though, where he averaged 5.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per game off the bench while shooting just 37.3 percent from the field.