Washington Wizards: 3 free agents to target with the DPE

Washington Wizards. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards Thon Maker
Washington Wizards Thon Maker. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Free Agent Target #1: Thon Maker

Unlike Crabbe and Hollis-Jefferson, Thon Maker was actually on an NBA roster at some point this season. Maker started the 2020-21 season with the Cavaliers but was pushed out when Jarrett Allen came to town.

Maker is only 23 years old, but the Cavaliers were already his third NBA team since debuting with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2016. Maker’s inability to stick with any one team or live up to the once sky-high hype that surrounded him before his NBA days are both red flags. But he’s still a fairly mobile seven-footer with good rim-protecting ability that can stretch the floor. Maker’s career block percentage is 4.1, and it’s only been below 4.0 for one of his previous four NBA seasons.  Last season with the Detroit Pistons, he shot just a shade under 35 percent from beyond the arc.

Even though Maker is a former top-10 pick, he’s not going to become the future of the center position in Washington if he comes to the nation’s capital. But that doesn’t mean he won’t come in ready to compete.

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Before earning himself a roster spot in Cleveland, Maker told Chris Fedor of cleveland.com that he had a “hungry” mindset. I’m willing to bet he’d be even hungrier if given another chance.

"“You have to come in with hunger and that’s my mentality. Nothing is ever given, period. Even being the top 10 pick it wasn’t given as well. I’m not coming in thinking I’m a top 10 now. I’m coming in aggressive like I was when I was a first year. I’m approaching it as if I just came out of college. Like I spent my last four years in college so that’s like my mentality here now and you know, just play as hard as I can, and whatever happens, happens. I always trust in my work ethic.”"

The Wizards sure could use some of that aggression.