Kentucky has officially offered one of the most dynamic big men in the country.
Thon Maker, the 7’0″ big guy from Martinsville, VA, received an offer from John Calipari and Kentucky on Sunday, his guardian Ed Smith told Scout.com’s Evan Daniels.
Maker is slotted as the No. 2 power forward and No. 3 prospect overall in 2016, according to the 247 composite rankings. Yet, many, including ESPN, believe that he could be the best player in the class.
He has also contemplated re-classifying to 2015, which would put him into college and the NBA Draft a year earlier. Maker says he is 50-50 on whether or not he will re-classify, and a final decision likely won’t come until next fall or winter.
The fact that Calipari and company are offering now is a big statement, as it means they would be willing to take Maker regardless of class. The Cats have offered two other big men in 2016: M.J. Cage and Harry Giles. Meanwhile, they have offered five in 2015: Carlton Bragg, Cheick Diallo, Stephen Zimmerman, Ivan Rabb and Skal Labissiere.
Maker would undoubtedly near the top of the wish list for 2016, but it is unclear just where he would fall on the list for 2015 with so many other quality big men available. Plus, one would imagine that Kentucky will return at least a couple of quality big men from this upcoming year’s squad.
Regardless, Maker could end up being the best big man of either class when all is said and done. As a 7-footer, he possesses uncommon athleticism and skill. He can handle the ball, shoot from long-range with some consistency and he excels as a shot-blocker. He still needs to add some strength and size to his frame, as well as some polish to his game, but his ceiling is incredibly high.
Maker also holds offers from the likes of Arizona, Georgetown, Kansas, Louisville and Memphis, and he figures to add plenty more to that list before long. Kansas is currently the 69 percent favorite to land him in 247′s Crystal Ball, followed by Kentucky at 15 percent, and Duke and Louisville at 8 percent.