There’s no denying that Tyrese Maxey has been integral to the Philadelphia 76ers these last few years. From jumping in as a star point guard in just his second year with the team to becoming a quiet but dominant deep-shooting threat to simply being a steady source of optimism in the locker room, Tyrese has had a major positive impact on the team during a tumultuous few years.
But now, with James Harden becoming the second guard to no-show to Sixers team activities in three years, the 22-year-old is going to be more important than ever in keeping the team afloat.
Facing a barrage of questions on James Harden’s fallout with the team during Sixers Media Day on Monday, team president Daryl Morey reiterated that Maxey is one of the league’s strongest up-and-coming stars. According to Morey, Maxey remains a key reason why fans should be optimistic about their chances as contenders.
Other players, like Patrick Beverly and De’Anthony Melton, commented on all that Maxey has to offer, with Melton especially expressing his excitement to share the court with Maxey more frequently.
Between the Media Day comments and the offseason roster moves – focusing on acquiring bigger defensive-minded players versus agile playmakers – it’s clear that the team expects Tyrese Maxey to take on a bigger role this season. With Harden out and with Eastern Conference rivals like the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics making big-name moves this past week, the Sixers will rely on a clear number-two guy to run the offense. It seems as though the team plans to fill that role with Maxey.
The offseason moves support this approach as well. The addition of Kelly Oubre Jr. provides some much-needed wing padding while retooling Paul Reed to work at the four, and bringing in Mo Bamba as a floor-spacing backup can help shore up the defense. By plugging some of the other holes they’ve faced, the Sixers can give Maxey some breathing room as he once again takes on a bigger role with the team.