Sixers rookie Tyrese Maxey did more than impress in his first season in the NBA. It did not take long for the 21st overall pick to show why he was one of the biggest steals in the draft.
Playing time was hard to come by at times, but Maxey never let an opportunity go to waste. Whenever Doc Rivers called his number, he made sure to make the most of the time on the court.
With his strong work ethic and humble attitude, Maxey quickly became a fan favorite in Philadelphia. Once fans were allowed back in the arena, Maxey received more than his fair share of love from the Philly faithful.
The biggest thing that stood out in Maxey's first season was his fearlessness. Despite no summer league and minimal training camps and practices, no moment was ever too big for the rookie.
After a good string of performances to close the regular season, many agreed Maxey was deserving of playoff minutes. Not only did he see the floor in the postseason, but he thrived. Maxey's two biggest games came in the series-clinching win against the Wizards and a pivotal game 6 against the Hawks.
It is clear that the Sixers struck gold on draft night. With his drive and potential, Maxey should not have been available when the Sixers selected at pick 21.
These impressive showings turned the heads of people within the organization. During his end-of-season press conference, Daryl Morey talked about Maxey being a rotation piece for the team moving forward.
"Obviously, Maxey wasn't every day in the rotation last year, but we feel like he has a really good chance to step into that rotation next year. That's super rare for anyone picked in the 20s," said Morey.
Maxey should be one of the players fans are most excited about heading into training camp in September. Between being a gym rat and working with NBA staff and trainers all offseason, there is no telling how different he might look by the start of next season.
There is a real possibility that Maxey starts out next season as the Sixers' sixth man. With his microwave scoring ability, he is more than capable of providing a spark off the bench.
It was evident early on that the sky is the limit for Maxey. He is surely going to be a bright young piece for the Sixers for years to come.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.