The rapid rise of Tyrese Maxey has been incredibly important to the success of the Sixers organization. The 21-year-old has played himself into an immediate impact player and future cornerstone part of the team. His strong play has not only drawn the attention of the Sixers but the NBA as a whole. Maxey even was seen training with LeBron James this offseason which is just about as great of an NBA stamp of approval one can receive.
Tyrese Maxey’s impressive work ethic and strong play has certainly put the NBA on notice. Expectations are even being set to the point where he was recently ranked in the top 10 SG’s heading into the season according to HoopsHype.
Was Tyrese Maxey disrespected in this ranking?
For starters, this is great company for the Kentucky product to see his name mentioned. There are some notable shooting guards left off the list such as Tyler Herro and Klay Thompson. There also are admittedly some positional questions among a league that has become increasingly positionless. For example, DeJounte Murray has served primarily as a point guard his entire NBA career but will be shifting over to a shooting guard after being traded to the Hawks this offseason to play alongside Trae Young yet is ranked as the 7th best SG.
Despite his 6’2″ height, it is clear Tyrese Maxey’s is at his best when playing as a pure shooting guard. The addition of James Harden last season further unlocked him as a scorer. Taking away the playmaking responsibilities that he initially carried allowed him to flourish and play a more natural game.
During his rookie year, he saw just 15.3 minutes per game and averaged 8.0 points, 2.0 assists, and 1.7 rebounds while shooting 30.1% on three-pointers. The absence of Ben Simmons paved the way for extra opportunity for Maxey in year two and he capitalized greatly. Maxey averaged 17.5 points, 4.3 assists, and 3.2 rebounds. He also increased his three-point percentage to 42.7% which ranked third across the entire NBA.
Anthony Edwards is the only player on the list younger than Tyrese Maxey as Edwards was the number one overall pick in the same draft. The Timberwolves star is also the only player in the top seven who has not made an all-star appearance yet. Desmond Bane, who was ranked 10th on this list, was also a member of the 2020 Draft Class.
What does the future hold?
While you can pick and chose individual arguments about why Tyrese Maxey is better or worse than players ranked above him, the fact of the matter is this year will likley be his measuring stick season. He has blown past all expectations in his first two seasons and will have greater responsibility this season. Some have gone as far as to include Tyrese Maxey as a part of a big three along with James Harden and Joel Embiid as the 2022-23 approaches.
His fast-break abilities, three-point shooting, and overall energy have undeniably become a key part of the Sixers identity. While high-caliber playoff teams are typically not known to count on 21-year-olds, this will be the case this season. If Tyrese Maxey can step into these massive shoes and help this team take the next step it will speak volumes to where he stands among NBA ranks.
It should be looked at as a massive compliment that Maxey already has his name mentioned among the league’s best shooting guards. However, check back on this list following next season and Maxey may find his name even higher. It is nearly impossible to expect the same leap he made following his rookie year, but the work ethic and talent he has make him difficult to doubt.
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