Sudan-born center Thon Maker is a potential first-round pick in Thursday night's NBA draft, but concerns regarding the authenticity of his age could cause him to tumble down draft boards.
The Australian-raised big man is listed at 19 years of age, but according to Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated, sources believe he could be significantly older, which has prompted some teams to remove him from first-round consideration:
Per Olgun Uluc of Fox Sports Australia, sources have indicated that Maker could be as old as 24.
The 7'1" prospect played at Orangeville Prep in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada, this past season and was declared eligible for the draft when it was determined that his final year of high school was as a postgraduate student.
In the event that Maker is indeed older than 19, his production against high school players won't mean much in terms of his evaluation as a potential pro.
Maker has enviable size and has shown an impressive defensive acumen. However, those attributes would be devalued if his age isn't legitimate.
Prior to questions about his age, Maker believed he was in line to be a high pick in Thursday's draft, according to Jay King of MassLive.com:
That is still a possibility since reports haven't suggested every team has moved him off their first-round draft boards, but controversy generally doesn't help draft stock.
In a draft that is deep in terms of quality interior players, the uncertainty surrounding Maker could change the landscape of the first round significantly.
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