Maker saw his role reduced from his second season to his third, averaging just 15.2 minutes per contest last season with Milwaukee and Detroit. Despite the downturn in playing time, Maker averaged career highs across the board with 5.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 0.8 blocks and 0.7 assists, and his per-36 numbers were respectable. Maker was able to make a solid impact on both ends of the court on a per-minute basis, but it's unlikely he sees much of a difference in his role this season. He'll vie for backup minutes in the frontcourt behind Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond, where he'll face competition from a handful of new faces including Michael Beasley, Markieff Morris and Christian Wood. Maker is a low-usage bench option who can be safely ignored in most fantasy basketball formats.
Maker was a victim of the sophomore slump, seeing his effective field-goal percentage drop from 53.6% to 46.0% and, as a result, gaining just 0.8 points per game despite averaging nearly seven more minutes. He didn't progress as a rebounder or shot-blocker, either, with his production in both categories dropping on a per-100-possessions basis. However, Maker undeniably re-energized the team during the Bucks’ opening-round playoff series against Boston, totaling 22 points, seven rebounds and 10 blocks during Games 3 and 4. Despite the incredibly small sample size, Maker’s potential was on full display. Now, it’s simply a matter of finding consistency heading into his third season. With the addition of Brook Lopez and the presence of John Henson, it won't be easy for Maker to find significantly more run in 208-19.
Though Maker’s overall numbers last season weren’t eye-popping, he often made waves when given extended run, demonstrating his upside as a player. For example, in the five games where the 7-foot-1 rookie garnered between 20 and 29 minutes, he posted 12.6 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting an impressive 22-of-44 from the field and 10-of-20 from beyond the arc. His shooting stroke and defensive potential were a large reason the Bucks took a chance on Maker, who they seemingly believe can turn into a stretch-five for them. On the year, he made 37.8 percent of his threes and blocked 1.7 shots per 36 minutes. All that said, Milwaukee has somewhat of a logjam at center with Greg Monroe, John Henson and Spencer Hawes also in the mix. So, Maker’s path to consistent playing time doesn’t look particularly promising, unless coach Jason Kidd takes some chances with him at power forward next season while Jabari Parker is out until around February with a torn ACL. Regardless, Maker can probably be avoided in nearly all Fantasy formats for the time being, as it seems unlikely his workload will see a uptick significant enough to garner consistent Fantasy production.
Widely viewed as a late-first or early second-round pick leading up to the 2016 NBA Draft, Maker's stock gained some unexpected helium, with the Bucks nabbing the biggest enigma of the draft class at No. 10 overall. Maker, a 7-foot-1, 216-pound power forward from Sudan, wasn't exposed to the game of basketball until he was 14 years old, but proved to be a quick study of the sport. Across stops at three different North American high schools, Maker emerged as one of the most coveted recruits for the Class of 2015, but he ultimately chose to stay at Athlete Institute in Canada for an extra year and reclassified as a member of the Class of 2016, making him eligible for the draft as a 19-year-old. Maker's long arms and relentless motor allow him to match up well athletically with just about any frontcourt prospect in the draft, with his 32-inch vertical jump at the NBA Combine illustrating his springiness and creating excitement about his potential as a shot blocker. Still, huge questions linger about the rest of his game. Maker's late arrival to basketball undoubtedly makes him a bit unpolished in some of the finer points of the game, particularly on the offensive end. While he's had little difficulty scoring in the prep ranks, his jump shot remains inconsistent, and he enters the NBA with less experience against higher-quality competition than any other player in this draft class. While the Bucks have stated that they expect Maker to be a rotation player off the bench right away after he excelled during the summer league, he's unlikely to produce with any sort of consistency and will be something of a project player. That said, his physical attributes give him plenty of long-term upside, so he'll be an attractive stash option in dynasty formats.