In Tyrese Maxey, the Sixers certainly struck gold. It’s time to take a look not just at Maxey’s rookie season but ahead to his second year.
Playing 61 games in the 2020-2021 NBA season, Tyrese Maxey showed the potential to be a major piece that can fill a need for instant offense. Not only that, but he provided solid defense and playmaking off the bench for the Sixers. The former Kentucky Wildcat, who is widely believed to be one of the steals of the 2020 NBA Draft, fell to the Sixers at pick 21 late in the first round.
While only averaging 15.3 min per game, In his first season, the rookie averaged 8.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 2.0 assist a game while shooting 46.2% percent from the field and 30.1% from deep, and 87.1% percent from the line.
Tyrese Maxey, like any rookie their first year, had his fair share of ups and downs through the NBA season at times struggling to shoot from the field and from three, But Maxey never wavered and always kept a smile on his face and maximized every opportunity he had on the court.
So much so that on Jan 9th, 2021, due to the health and safety protocols and various injuries the team was dealing with, Maxey, among other young players were pressed into duty to step up and play major minutes for the team against the Denver Nuggets. With a final score of 76ers 103 – 115 Nuggets, the rookie impressed that day with a stat line of 39 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals, which earned the trust of the Sixers couches going forward to utilize the rookie skill set and mental toughens and always ready attitude more down the stretch of the regular season.
The rookie then became a key reserve for the Sixers in the playoffs, having his best moments in the first round against the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Maxey tailed double-digit points in three of the five contests played and averaged 15.9 minutes, 9 points, 2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1 block, 50% FG, and 40% from deep over the series.
Looking to the Future
Being unclear of what will happen with the Sixers and the Ben Simmons situation, and with Maxey now being a part of rumors being in possible trade packages with Simmons, the guard returning for his second year can only be a plus for the Sixers.
Maxey’s willingness to get better and become more of a complete player bolds well for him and the Sixers organization. This can not be even more evident that after the loss to the Atlanta Hawks in-game seven, Maxey was in the gym the next morning at the 76ers training facilities training for the next season, staying true to the mantra he lives by
“Get one percent better every day.”
Grade and Future Outlook: B
The young combo guard has earned a B for his solid play on the offensive and defensive ends of the court. Maxey always gives full effort and energy when his number is called throughout the year.
Maxey needs to continue to develop his all-about game and, in particular, creating space and shooting more consistently from the perimeter. The Sixers should have faith that he will come back next year prepared to take that next step in his game and become a key contributor to the team.