Perth NBA rookie Thon Maker set to make full debut when season tips off this week

Thon Maker in pre-season action against Detroit Pistons. Picture: Chris Schwelger/Getty Images
Thon Maker in pre-season action against Detroit Pistons. Picture: Chris Schwelger/Getty Images

FORMER Mirrabooka schoolboy and basketball sensation Thon Maker is set to make his NBA debut for Milwaukee Bucks early Thursday morning Perth time.

The 216cm Maker, who was selected by the Bucks with the 10th pick in June’s NBA Draft, will suit up next to fellow Aussie Matthew Dellavedova when the Bucks take on Charlotte Hornets in their season opener on Thursday October 27.

Maker has made headlines on and off the court since being drafted.

While he averaged 14.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in the 2016 NBA Summer League for the Bucks, some have questioned the validity of the 19-year-old’s age.

He averaged 3.4 points despite limited playing time in five of the Bucks’ pre-season outings, including nine points and four rebounds in the 88-74 win against Dallas on October 8.

NBA scouts anonymously gave a strong take on the Australian in an extensive report for Sports Illustrated, labelling him ‘not ready to play’.

“Thon Maker will be interesting. He plays really hard, he’s tall. But he has very little feel for the game, and very poor strength in his core, his glutes and legs. He can kinda shoot if he has time and space, but he can’t really make shots at game speed yet. I hope they’re not expecting him to play,” the report said.

However, Milwaukee fans seem more excited by Maker, with a report for the Behind the Buck Pass blog reporting they had “already fallen in love with Thon’s potential”.

“He is a very raw talent, but his motor and skill set should allow him to see a few minutes from time to time this upcoming season, even with the logjam in the Bucks’ front court,” Behind the Buck Pass reported.

Milwaukee plays Charlotte at 8am AWST.