Meet Tyrese Maxey, the 76ers First Round Pick
With the 21st pick in Wednesday’s 2020 NBA draft, the Philadelphia 76ers selected Tyrese Maxey, guard from the University of Kentucky.
Maxey is only 20 years old but has long been a highly touted prospect and is no stranger to basketball success. As a high school player, he made two all-state teams, a national all-American team, and even helped the United States secure a gold medal at the 2018 FIBA U-18 Americas Championship. He was among the very top basketball prospects in his high school graduating class and made the choice to join forces with other NBA-bound players at the University of Kentucky.
He led that Kentucky team in minutes per game and while doing so also averaged 14 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.1 assists. Head coach John Calipari envisions clear success for Tyrese Maxey in the NBA stating “He is going to do great in the NBA because there’s nothing he can’t do. He can handle the ball, he can shoot, he’s got great athleticism, and he really defended as the season went on. He reminds me of what Jamal Murray was able to do, and we know how well he has done in the NBA.”
While the Sixers might not be getting a player as tremendous as Jamal Murray, they have to like that comparison. Other guards that Tyrese Maxey is often paired with when noting his future potential include Kyle Lowry and Bradley Beal. Again, these players are towards the more successful end of the spectrum, but Maxey has the basketball skills that inspire the parallels.
The scouting report for Maxey indicates that he has clear positives at both the offensive and defensive end of the floor. On offense, he is a clever finisher at the rim who can score at awkward angles and with either hand while absorbing contact. He is a solid pick and roll scorer and with the ability to pull up for a jump shot off the dribble on a dime. On defense, his strong frame and long arms allow him to be an excellent on-ball defender and he’s always displayed an engagement during off-ball defense that keeps him in plays at all times.
As with any prospect, there are also areas to improve. One of these is his shot selection, as he attempts too many contested jumpers as a result of not creating enough space with his dribble. The defenders don’t get any slower in the NBA so he’ll have to adapt in this regard. Maxey has also been pegged as a streaky shooter which some attribute his low release point, despite overall his form being praised.
Tyrese Maxey is a great fit for the Sixers as they needed a primary ball handler to help out Ben Simmons. If Maxey’s shooting proves reliable, his play could prove deadly when paired with both Simmons and Embiid. Now that other shooters, like Danny Green and Seth Curry, have joined the team as well, the Sixers are ready to put 2020’s season behind them and play for a championship this year.