The representative for Milwaukee Bucks center Thon Maker has told management that he’d prefer the franchise find a trade to a team that would provide a larger role for the former lottery pick, league sources told ESPN.
As Maker’s playing time has diminished under new coach Mike Budenholzer in the Bucks’ surge to the NBA’s best record, agent Mike George and Milwaukee general manager Jon Horst have discussed trade scenarios in recent weeks that would potentially make sense for both the player and team, league sources said.
Horst was part of a front office that drafted Maker with the 10th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and there remains strong organizational belief in Maker’s future, sources said.
The Bucks are under no obligation to trade Maker, but the organization has discussed possible deals with rival teams ahead of the February 7 trade deadline, sources said.
Maker, 21, is eligible to negotiate a rookie contract extension this offseason. The Bucks have the NBA’s best record, 35-12.
Maker has shown stretches of terrific promise in the league, but he’s been in and out of the Bucks rotation throughout the season. He was part of the team’s second unit when Ersan Illyasova was injured, but forward DJ Wilson has usurped more of Maker’s minutes in recent weeks.
Since January 1, Maker has averaged 10 minutes and 3.8 points — including three DNP’s. Maker started 46 games in his first two seasons, including averaging nearly 17 minutes a game, 4.8 points and three rebounds in the 2018-19 season.
Despite the minutes reduction, Maker has raised his per 36 scoring and rebounding production to 14.4 and 8.4 respectively, as well as his PER to 13.1 from 10.2.
Maker emigrated from war-torn South Sudan to Australia as a young man before settling into Canada prior to the 2016 NBA Draft.
ESPN’s Marc Spears and Malika Andrews contributed to this report.
Courtesy: ABC News