Former University of Kentucky standout Tyrese Maxey has been in a solid situation to develop. Maxey landed on a playoff contender as a late first-round pick when the Philadelphia 76ers selected him in 2020.
While landing on a contender right away might be difficult for players to see any playing time outside of the G League, Maxey adapted quickly and found himself growing fast and picking up playing time in his rookie year.
Maxey appeared in 61 games during his rookie year. In the 15 minutes per game he spent on the court, the young guard averaged eight points and two assists while shooting 46 percent from the field and 30 percent from three.
After his first season in the NBA, Maxey took a significant leap during his sophomore effort. With the Ben Simmons saga forcing their young guard into a position battle for the starting point guard position, Maxey convincingly earned the job as Philly’s primary ball handler.
Last season, Maxey started in 74 of the 75 games he appeared in and doubled his production as he put up 17 points per game and four assists while knocking down 42 percent of his threes.
Some believe that Maxey was the NBA’s most improved player last year. Many think he’s on his way to becoming an All-Star. As the workaholic continues to develop his game further ahead of year three, Sixers assistant Sam Cassell notes one area Maxey must master to become the star that spectators know he can be in an interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia's Noah Levick.
“Moving forward, Cassell identified a midrange game as the next step in Maxey’s development to become a three-level scorer. Cassell considers him a two-level scorer at the moment, adept beyond the arc and at the rim, with room to grow in the intermediate range.
“If he gets that third part, the mid-range game … which I mastered as a player, and I just tell him certain things he has to do to become a good mid-range shooter,” Cassell said, noting the midrange is often especially important in the playoffs because it’s a soft spot in most defenses.
“Once he gets that, he’ll be real special.“It’s all about just him being comfortable with it.” via Jackson Frank of Liberty Ballers.
Barring any unexpected changes on the roster before the season starts, Maxey will likely continue starting for the Sixers alongside James Harden next year.
Even if Maxey doesn’t show significant strides in his mid-range shot, the young guard will still be valuable as a strong finisher at the rim and a reliable long-range shooter.
But considering Maxey’s history of making strides in his development, he hasn’t given any reason to believe he won’t come back stronger than ever after having an entire offseason to work with Cassell and other trainers and coaches throughout the summer.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.
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