During last year's pre-draft process, nobody expected the Philadelphia 76ers to land somebody like Tyrese Maxey. Coming off of a solid freshman season at the University of Kentucky, most publications projected Maxey to be a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
But as the draft went on, Maxey slipped beyond lottery territory. And when the Sixers were on the clock with the 21st overall pick, Maxey was available. Although nobody expected the Sixers to land Maxey, they didn't hesitate to pull the trigger and select him with their first-round pick last fall.
As it turns out, they certainly made the right choice as Maxey had himself an impressive rookie year. Although he was in and out of the rotation throughout the regular season, Maxey showed a lot of promise in the games where he picked up notable playing time.
In 61 matchups, eight of which he started, the rookie guard averaged 15 minutes on the floor. He put up eight points per game during that time while shooting 46-percent from the field and knocking down 30-percent of his threes in the regular season.
Although Maxey didn't start in any playoff games, he did appear in eight postseason matchups and averaged six points per game, hitting on 44-percent of his shots from the field. With the promise that he showed on the game court and the relentless work ethic he displayed off of it, Maxey quickly became a fan-favorite in Philadelphia.
Now, the soon-to-be second-year guard will make an offseason appearance at the Philadelphia Phillies game this weekend as Maxey's reportedly expected to throw out the first pitch on Saturday.
After taking on the New York Yankees on the road Wednesday, the Phillies are expected to return home on Thursday for a four-game series against the Atlanta Braves. Maxey will be expected to throw the first pitch ahead of the third matchup versus the Braves on Saturday. The game is expected to begin at 6:05 PM EST.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.