Thon Maker has no intention of withdrawing and attending college if he receives approval from the NBA to formally become a part of this year’s draft class, as he told Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress. It’s a swift conclusion for the 7’0″ power forward from a Canadian prep school, since Maker’s legal guardian, Ed Smith, didn’t reveal to him he had a case to enter the draft until late last month, as Maker said to Givony. Sources told Jeff Borzello of ESPN.com that Maker, who on Sunday publicly announced that he plans to enter the draft, had to declare in order to receive a ruling from the NBA on his eligibility. Maker’s camp has been in communication with the NBA for a while and they expect an answer as soon as this week, tweets Evan Daniels of Scout.com. See more on the intriguing prospect making waves on the draft scene:
- Maker’s case to be included in this year’s draft class is a strong one, Givony argues, citing a clause in the collective bargaining agreement that would deem him an international player rather than an American (Twitter links). The eligibility of American players is tied to the timing of their high school graduations, though Maker has argued that he qualifies in that regard, too.
- It’s difficult to peg how the NBA will rule on his eligibility, though assuming the league comes down in his favor, it’s likely he’ll receive an invitation to next month’s draft combine, writes Chad Ford of ESPN.com in an Insider-only piece. Little semblance of consensus exists regarding Maker’s draft stock, with scouts’ opinions of him ranging from the late lottery to the second round, according to Ford, who ranks him 20th among this year’s prospects. Givony slots the 19-year-old as this year’s 44th-best draft prospect.
- Maker would have a better shot to go in the first round this year than he would if he’s relegated to next year’s draft class, an NBA executive told Sean Deveney of The Sporting News, pointing to the relative strength of the other prospects expected to be available in each draft.
- NBA executives have chiefly seen regression as they’ve watched Maker, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, who expects him to spend most of the next two seasons on D-League assignment if he’s drafted this year (Twitter link).