NBA Draft 2016: Lakers Should Target Thon Maker With 32nd Pick

Jun 25, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; General view of the stage before the start of the 2015 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 25, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; General view of the stage before the start of the 2015 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

The NBA Draft is just around the corner, and if still available, the Los Angeles Lakers would be crazy not to target high school standout, Thon Maker, with their 32nd pick

Last week, the Los Angeles Lakers interviewed 19 year old high school standout, Thon Maker, and like plenty of other teams, seemed intrigued enough to take him with their later picks… as they should be.

As an admitted follower of the various high school mixtape creators out there (BallIsLife, HoopMixtape, etc.) Maker, the wiry 7 footer out of Sudan, has practically been their poster boy for the past few years.

Often drawing comparisons to Kevin Durant, something he specifically addressed in his pre-draft interviews, Maker has the ball handling ability and shooting range to warrant such statements.

However, though he surely isn’t on KD’s levels in those areas, one place he may actually have a leg up is on the defensive end of the floor where he uses his quickness and 7’3 wingspan to emphatically bat away shots on a regular basis.

That said, Makers feels that the mixtapes don’t give people a full grasp on what his game really entails, another thing he discussed in an interview with NBA’s David Aldridge.

"“People have got to stop mixtapes,” he said. “That’s not me. I’ll bet you those people that put out those mixtapes never really sat through a game of mine and saw my defensive rotation, the way I communicate to my teammates, the way I pass the ball. They probably got the bad passes, the one-and passes, and didn’t get the fundamental two-handed jump shot or skip passes. They don’t get to see all that.”"

Maker makes an interesting point as I can’t recall the last mixtape player that made a big splash in the Association (perhaps Aaron Gordon?) but hopefully Maker bucks this trend.

More from Lake Show Life

When Maker declared for the draft, many were quick to point out that he’d be spending his first few years in the developmental league, honing his skills and putting on weight to play with NBA players, but with the 32nd pick Maker is all reward and virtually zero risk.

Currently pegged to go 40th overall in Draft Express’ latest mock draft, the Lakers would be wild to not steal a prospect like Maker. While Maker might get buried on the bench elsewhere, it’s not reaching to say that Luke Walton would be able to find a spot for Maker somewhere in the rotation for the Purple and Gold.

Personally, I’m surprised with Maker’s decision to declare for the draft this year seeing that were he to simply wait and play one year of college ball, he’d likely rise to the top of the big board in turn drawing a much bigger payday. But that’s his prerogative.

General manager, Mitch Kupchak, may have said that he prefers a quick turnaround rather than a slow rebuild, but Maker’s ceiling may be too high to ignore.

Next: Targeting Harrison Barnes Would Be A Bad Idea

The Purple and Gold have proven their ability to draft gems in the late first and second round of the NBA draft but whether or not they’ll pull the trigger or even have the opportunity to do so will be revealed on June 23.