The Philadelphia 76ers are star hunters. Whether it’s Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, or James Harden, or shelling out big money for Al Horford, the Philadelphia 76ers are always looking for a true number two next to Alpha Joel Embiid. While their moves have been met with varying degrees of success, the Sixers remain adamant. This, plus so many disgruntled stars in the league, kept the rumors alive of the Sixers pursuing players like Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard.
Coming with the rumors is the Sixers’ young asset’s names. One of the names that always comes up in any package the Sixers can send is that of Sixers’ star in the making, Tyrese Maxey. Maxey gets tossed in constantly by armchair GMs across the Twitterverse for value reasons, thanks to his elite levels of production. Despite this, Sixers President of Basketball Operations — Daryl Morey — has maintained one clear message to fans and other GMs alike: Tyrese Maxey is untouchable.
While many initially balked at the idea, Maxey has proven time and time again just how special he is. This year, the second-year point guard out of Kentucky has been nothing short of a revelation for the Sixers, especially after the whole Ben Simmons situation. He was often the only source of offense other than Joel Embiid. His growth this season — after being trusted with the reins to the offense — has been nothing less than spectacular.
In his rookie season, Tyrese Maxey averaged only 8.0 points per game and 2.0 assists per game while playing just over 15 minutes per game across 61 games, starting only 8. His shooting splits were 46.2% from the field, 30.1% from deep, and 87.1% from the free-throw line. Fast forward to this season, and Maxey has started 67 games for Philadelphia. Maxey plays more than 35 minutes a game while scoring 17.4 points per game and dishing out 4.3 assists per game. His current shooting splits are 48.5% from the field, 42.0% from three-point range, and 86.0% from the free-throw line.
His growth from his rookie year to this year is nothing less than remarkable. He has demonstrated just how skilled of a player he is, and with the massive jump that he took, it’s not clear just how high of a ceiling Maxey actually has.
In his second season, Tyrese Maxey is already a Most Improved Player candidate, an award that typically excludes players in their second year because of the natural jump that so many have from their first to second year. Yet, Maxey has been so jaw-droppingly good this year that he is receiving much-deserved attention. After this season, he could legitimately become an All-Star.
Tyrese Maxey is right to be untouchable. Daryl Morey is right to consider Maxey untouchable. He is no longer just a potential young trade asset but a legitimate third star to the 76ers’ Big 3 and an invaluable piece to the 76ers championship hopes.