Thon Maker has been a familiar name around Indiana for the past couple of years and on Wednesday he showed up in Indiana to workout for the Pacers.
The once-prized recruiting target of the Hoosiers was allowed to enter the NBA draft after the league ruled he met the requirements of being one year removed from his high school graduating class despite the spending last season at some basketball prep school.
Maker has been rising up draft boards and battled Stephen Zimmerman out of UNLV during his workout with the Pacers. Zimmerman is also just 19 years old and shows up as the Pacers pick on a few mock drafts. I'm not sure why the Pacers would want to go with another young, big project after appearing to hit the mark with a similar pick last year in Myles Turner.
Mark Montieth at Pacers.com does a nice job looking at the risk/reward gamble of a player like Maker.
The wings/guards brought in to workout with Maker and Zimmerman on Wednesday were more familiar to college hoops fans since they have spent meaningful time on the NCAA stage. That group included Fred VanVleet from Wichita State who made many March memories for the Shockers during his college career. Retin Obasohan (Alabama), Shavon Shields (Nebraska) and Jake Layman (Maryland) rounded out the Wednesday group.
The Fieldhouse will be busy again on Thursday when Nate McMillan will feel his age by working out Gary Payton II (Oregon State), son of his good friend Gary Payton. Robert Carter, Jr. (Maryland), Julian Jacobs (USC), Marcus Paige (North Carolina), Dyshawn Pierre (Dayton), and Isaiah Whitehead (Seton Hall) are also in the Thursday group.