5. Thon Maker Breaks Out
Thon Maker has oozed potential for two seasons, but he has yet to get over the hump to actually realize that potential. Thon excited in high school due to his athleticism and two-way ability. He gave fans and media the impression of a taller, more defense-oriented Kevin Durant.
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Through two seasons, he hasn’t looked anything like his multiple hype tapes that were released years ago. He has struggled to stretch the floor, which is important for a player that lacks the typical weight of a big man like he does.
New Head Coach Mike Budenholzer helped developed stretch bigs, such as Paul Millsap and Al Horford into All-Star players, which would bode well for Maker this season. This season, Maker’s goals should be to rebound his three-point percentage and his defensive impact. Budenholzer’s system manufactures open looks, while also putting a major emphasis on defense. If Maker is going to carve out a regular role in the rotation, he has to accomplish these simple goals.