NBA future for MAAR ?

Submitted by rockydude on February 24th, 2018 at 9:58 PM

I know he wasn't a five star recruit, and he doesn't totally pass the eye test, but MAAR really does a lot of things well. You could do a lot worse than to have a guy like him on your bench. Especially good is his ability to create his own shots, valuable for a bench guy. 

I don't follow the NBA, so does anyone who knows such things think he could make an NBA roster, whether by draft of as a FA ?


The Krusty Kra…

February 24th, 2018 at 10:12 PM ^

With how the G-League operates now with 2 way contracts and such, some team will take a waiver on him. I mean even look right now, Walton Jr. is on a two-way deal with the Heat/Sioux Falls SkyForce. Even Bryn Forbes and Matt Costello worked their way from undrafted to the Spurs bench. Muhammad Ali Abdul Jabaar is coming on at the right time, solid tourney performances will absolutely earn him at least a camp invite.


February 24th, 2018 at 10:14 PM ^

I would expect him to go to summer league with a team and get a camp invite with a small amount of guaranteed money ($25-$50k) and spend the year in the G-League as an affiliate player. 1-2 years of showing himself at that level might earn him some 10-days, or maybe a 2-way.

I really like MAAR. But he’s not ready for NBA minutes, and ultimately teams like using the last spots in their roster for guys with some growth in their game whom they hope to develop down the road. It’s just not clear MAAR has that kind of growth in him, seeing as he’ll be 24 in September, and he doesn’t have the elite measurables either.

Alternatively he can go to Europe. He’d probably make a little better money there, although it would reduce his chances of playing in the NBA in the long run.


February 24th, 2018 at 10:17 PM ^

I just wish some NBA scouting sites would update their evaluations of MAAR. A few of them spot him as a 2nd round pick at best, but it is based on scouting from games that were not today's games. I would be interested to see other evaluations of his draft prospects. 


February 25th, 2018 at 10:20 AM ^

But he is a fringe NBA prospect at best. The NBA drafts just as much (if not more) on a player's talent/ceiling as on what they are now. As another poster already pointed out, MAAR is 24 years old. He's done growing, and he doesn't have a dominant trait that points to unfulfilled upside.

Size: good for a PG, eh for a 2

Handle: Good for a 2 guard, eh for a point.

Shooting: Good, not great.

Passing: MAAR doesn't ever turn it over, which is great, but he isn't really a setup man either. Beilein touched on this in a recent presser; something to the effect of "not an amazing PG, but makes the next right play." From an NBA scouting perspective, this is kind of polishing a turd.

Athletecism: good, not great.

Speed/Quickness: Here, MAAR is excellent. This is the closest thing he has to a dominant trait. We've seen him use it at Michigan to be (at times) an outstanding on-ball defender and also to get to the rim at will. His ability to get to the rim would translate to the NBA, but he already struggles to finish at the rim with a shot-blocker in the paint. That will also translate and be a bigger problem because there are more and better shot blockers in the NBA. However..

Defense: MAAR's good length and excellent quickness give him the ability (we saw flashes here) to be an elite on-ball defender. If he gets a shot and ends up sticking on a roster, this will be his calling card. To get up in someone's grill a la Lindsey Hunter, force turnovers, and force the ball into someone else's hands. Force the opponent to play 4-on-4 without a PG.

Overall: Age puts his ceiling lower than many other prospects in the draft. Shooting ability not refined enough to be a SG, passing/court vision not refined enough to be a PG. Has tools to be a defensive stalwart at either guard position: good length, great quickness, active hands, foul-averse. Maybe a mid-to-late second rounder if a team really likes his potential as a defender and glue guy.


February 25th, 2018 at 10:53 AM ^

I don't think he has much of a shot to be drafted because of his age and limited upside.  

I see his upside in the league as a 3 and D guy the NBA loves.  If he was 2-3 inches taller, he'd have a chance to be a second rounder. Ppl say "you are who you can defend" and as a slightly undersized 2, I can really only see him defending 2s.  I don't see him being able to consistently stay in front of 1s and he'll be giving up a few inches to 3s around the league.

Hopefully, he'll be able to hang around the G league and get a chance to show himself on a 2 way ocntract at some point.  Crazy we're even at the point where it's in the discussion for him.  


February 25th, 2018 at 11:31 AM ^

Agree. I love MAAR and he is underrated, but Juwan was one of the best power fowards in college hoops while at Michigan. A great defender, rebounder, could hit the 15 foot jumper from the top of the line, was a very good passer for a big man, and could play with his back to the basket..thus a top 5 pick and a lengthy NBA career. Their biggest similarity is their intelligence when playing the game.

I'll be shocked if MAAR is drafted (unless he plays like he did against Maryland throughout both tournaments), but he should be able to make a team under the right coach and system. In the right system, he could be part of a second unit with this ability to push the ball and score. He needs to improve his handle significantly though and work on his range. Could also put on some more muscle. I wouldn't be surprised if he moves back and forth between the G league for a couple seasons and then emerges in a few years as a good second unit player.


February 24th, 2018 at 10:27 PM ^

like a very legitimate question after his performance of the last few weeks. Beilein himself noted his realization over the last few weeks that MAAR was capable of a good deal more than the coaches had been asking. We watch these players, but we don't always know. (Great example: Trey Burke. When he didn't succeed immediately a lot of experts here declared that they knew he wasn't NBA material. He has scored 26 points on two consecutive nights now with the Knicks and is in--what--his third year with the league?)


February 24th, 2018 at 10:50 PM ^

I think he has potential to be a backup in the NBA, and a 2nd round pick. He can create his own shot fairly well. He has a good deep shot and plays good defense. I think he can be comparable to Tim Hardaway Jr.


February 24th, 2018 at 10:53 PM ^

He's probably not an NBA player, but then again I figured Walton would be in Europe this season and instead he's played 14 games in Miami and might have seen even more action had the Heat not been in the playoff race.  So who knows; maybe MAAR sneaks on the end of a bench as a 3-and-D guy.  His biggest problem is he isn't an amazing shooter or great athlete, but he has absolutely elevated his game this second half of the season and you are seeing a guy with a good enough handle to get to the hoop and also with solid outside range.  He'll at least get a camp invite is my guess.


February 24th, 2018 at 11:20 PM ^

He's smart, a good defender, finisher and shooter. Does not turn over the ball over and creates off the dribble. 

I'm hoping for a big tourney too as I think he can take over more than he realizes. He's deferred to teammates for so long but he's getting hot at the right time.

He's certainly better than those scrubs Forbes and Costello...


February 24th, 2018 at 11:24 PM ^

He's solid in a lot of areas, but I don't know if he has that one skill to make him indispensable to a team.   I could see him getting a cup of coffee.


February 24th, 2018 at 11:52 PM ^

Monta Ellis would be my role model. 40th pick. SG in a pg's body.  Its impossible for me to be rational about guessing M guy's future - especially knowing he was a 2 star recrute - and 6'3 Sgs are rare. Plus he's 23. I didn't think MAAR had an NBA future. I do think he's a second round pick, and I do view him as a bit of a lottery ticket. I don't think he cuts it in the NBA but he could be one of those weird tweeners that thrives.


February 24th, 2018 at 11:52 PM ^

Monta Ellis would be my role model. 40th pick. SG in a pg's body.  Its impossible for me to be rational about guessing M guy's future - especially knowing he was a 2 star recrute - and 6'3 Sgs are rare. Plus he's 23. I didn't think MAAR had an NBA future. I do think he's a second round pick, and I do view him as a bit of a lottery ticket. I don't think he cuts it in the NBA but he could be one of those weird tweeners that thrives.


February 25th, 2018 at 12:06 AM ^

No doubt MAAR is hot and has been our best player of late. But the NBA is a stretch. Couple of things that are working against him.

He's short for a SG, limited experience playing point.

He's a little old for a senior (I think Duncan Robinson is younger).

I don't think he's dominated the same way Walton did last year (whose a fringe NBA player)


February 25th, 2018 at 12:06 AM ^

And to think most of this board (myself included) were like "wtf is Beilein doing signing this no name, older senior" in the summer of 2014. He's carved out one of the more impressive 4 year careers in the Beilein era. I put him and Morgan as being the highest over-achievers of the past 10 years


February 25th, 2018 at 12:12 AM ^

No.  MAAR is one of my favorite U of M bball players all time, but the NBA requires a level of athleticism that MAAR does not have for his size.  For what it's worth, I think Wagner will top out as a bench guy in the NBA if he sticks there at all, but I'd be happy to be wrong on both accounts.


February 25th, 2018 at 2:42 AM ^

This was the first night where I'm on the side of him getting a few years in the NBA/G-league. He might jump to Europe afterwards. I think he's going to have an amazing BTT and March Madness run. He might get drafted in the 2nd round, but if not, he'll get on with a team's G-League and will be solid that he'll get some time in the NBA. This kid kepts improving and I think that work ethic and determination is what will keep him going. 

Perkis-Size Me

February 25th, 2018 at 7:31 AM ^

I wouldn’t count on him finding a spot on an NBA roster ultimately. Teams are more interested in finding developmental projects with a guy who has all the physical attributes but is raw in his technique. Stranger things have happened though. I bet he at least gets an invite to try out for teams. Got a very high basketball IQ, he’s clutch, and can ball with the best of them.

My guess is we’ll hear about him playing in Europe before too long, but if he keeps tearing it up down the stretch, there may possibly be some teams in the league who are interested in having him on their G-league rosters. Walton’s play at the end of last season earned him that spot with Miami.


February 25th, 2018 at 8:23 AM ^

Size isn't everything, it's how you use it.
His speed is ridiculous. In yesterday's game after being on the floor forever, he was the still out running everyone and his ball handling skills have turned heads as of late.

Steve in PA

February 25th, 2018 at 10:13 AM ^

He was an older freshman and played 4 years.  He's 23 now and will be 24 in the fall.  

Robinson will be 24 shortly after the NCAA tournament concludes as well.  These guys are playing exactly how an older upper classman should play.