Ben Simmons is the first overall pick of the NBA’s latest mock draft released on Tuesday. Thon Maker also intruded the first round of the mock draft. The Sudanese native announced himself for the NBA draft earlier this month. Maker is at No 23, which goes to the Celtics.
The 19-year-old, 7-footer is considered a potential pick of few teams. Thon Maker recently burst into ESPN analyst Chad Ford’s top 20 lists of probable draft picks after the Sudanese native was ruled eligible for the NBA draft.
“No one’s sure exactly where to rank Maker right now,” Ford wrote recently. “His decision to declare for the draft took everyone by surprise. If the NBA agrees that he’s eligible, a lot will depend on his play at the combine and workouts. Right now, scouts are all over the place about his value — ranging from a lottery to second round.
“We split the difference here at No. (19) given his elite size, motor and emerging skill set. But his lack of strength and feel for the game give scouts pause. We’ll have a much better read on his stock in six weeks, after the combine.”
The ESPN analyst also feels that Maker is a couple of years away from becoming a productive NBA player. The mysterious big man with thrilling abilities could become an automatic choice for the Boston Celtics. The Celtics have multiple first round picks, and roping in Maker could yield huge dividends to the franchise. The 7-foot-3 had a brief stint with Country Day in 2012 that included just three games as a freshman for the Cajuns before returning to Australia.
“This is the third first-round pick for the Celtics and gives Ainge a chance to swing for the fences,” Ford also wrote. “He’s got the size and the motor to be a terrific NBA player, and his jump shot and perimeter skills are coming along, too. He’s still painfully thin and doesn’t have a strong feel for the game, but a year in the D-League would do him good.”
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