With the NBA trade deadline fast approaching Thon Maker is reportedly in search of more minutes, and seeking a trade away from the Milwaukee Bucks.
Having landed George Hill in a big December trade which also cleared significant salary, it seemed as if the first-placed Milwaukee Bucks would have little reason to be active as the NBA’s February 7 trade deadline approaches.
A report that emerged on Saturday afternoon has quickly changed that, though, as Thon Maker is said to have communicated his desire to be traded.
More from Bucks Rumors
- Bucks’ Thanasis Antetokounmpo reveals he nearly joined a different team
- NBA Rumors: Bucks eyeing young combo guard with one roster spot left
- NBA Rumors: Bucks attended a workout for former first round draft pick
- NBA Free Agency Rumors: Milwaukee Bucks targeting sharpshooting wing
- Important Milwaukee Bucks’ rumors on day 2 of 2023 NBA Free Agency
According to the report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Maker’s representatives are said to have informed the Bucks of their client’s interest in moving to a team with more minutes available for a player of his ilk.
Wojnarowski correctly noted that the Bucks don’t necessarily have to give in to Maker’s request, but also indicated his sources suggest the “the organization has discussed possible deals with rival teams ahead of the Feb. 7 trade deadline”.
Maker, in his third season with the Bucks since being selected with the 10th overall pick in 2016, has played in 35 of Milwaukee’s 47 games so far this season, while has minutes have also dropped to 11.7 per game on the year from 16.7 last season.
As our own Jordan Treske highlighted on Friday afternoon, even beyond that, Maker’s role has certainly been further reduced in recent weeks, to the point where his future with the Bucks already required some form of questioning.
The departure of John Henson in the aforementioned George Hill trade should, in theory, have helped Maker to move up a spot in the rotation, yet Maker’s inconsistencies persisted, while D.J. Wilson has emerged and proved himself capable of taking on the kind of roles that have often left the 21-year-old Australian flummoxed.
Of course, Maker has had his golden moments with the Bucks, showing his potential with high impact contributions in the playoffs for consecutive years.
Building upon that has proved challenging for Maker, though, as even when he’s improved in a physical sense, his struggles with corralling simple passes, and bouts of recklessness or over-aggression defensively have still held him back.
In spite of that, Maker appears to be with an organization that has shown real belief in him, has a great development staff in place, and where he has formed a strong rapport with superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. Having struggled to prove himself consistently with Milwaukee, seeking a trade is undoubtedly a bold move.
The influence of representation should not be overlooked considering the way in which the ESPN report was framed, and how Maker’s unusual journey to the NBA was frequently plotted out by agents and advisors. Still, what does his market look like?
That’s the question the Bucks will be investigating at present, and realistically it’s one where they’ll find underwhelming returns for a player who was the franchise’s most recent lottery pick.
A pick of any sort in return would likely be appealing, as perhaps would a wing player capable of adding a scoring punch to the bench. With Brook Lopez, Wilson and Ersan Ilyasova, as well as Antetokounmpo demonstrating his ability at the 5 on Friday night, a like for like replacement would be unnecessary. In fact, Maker’s departure could even open up further opportunity for Christian Wood, who has thrived in the G League this season.
Where Maker fits in elsewhere is the question, though, and the answer will likely emerge over the course of the next 12 days.