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The Philadelphia 76ers had no choice but to throw Tyrese Maxey into the fire last season. As the three-time All-Star Ben Simmons refused to play for the Sixers, the second-year, former first-round pick was inserted into the starting lineup to fill the void of Simmons.

After seeing an entire season's worth of production from Maxey in the starting lineup, it's clear the young guard rose to the occasion and took advantage of the opportunity he was given.

In 75 games, Maxey put up 17 points per game while knocking down 42 percent of his threes. He also doubled his assist numbers from two to four and took care of the ball by only averaging 1.2 turnovers per game.

Maxey's emergence was impressive enough to earn the sophomore guard a few votes for the NBA's Most Improved Player award. While the former Kentucky product didn't snag any accolades in year two, he was recently predicted to become a first-year All-Star ahead of the upcoming season.

Michael Kaskey-Blomain of CBS Sports recently highlighted five players who are "poised" to become first-time All-Stars next season. Among the players mentioned, Kaskey-Blomain made a strong case for the Sixers guard.

"Maxey took over the starting point guard spot in Ben Simmons' absence last season, and he never looked back -- even after James Harden was added to the roster. His numbers swelled with his increased role, and he quickly established himself as an integral part of Philadelphia's offensive attack. His importance to the Sixers was exemplified during postseason play. 

"This improvement helped to solidify him as an excellent complement to All-Star center Joel Embiid, and his ability to play both on and off of the ball should greatly help his fit alongside Harden in Philadelphia's backcourt moving forward. Maxey has an unrelenting work ethic, and if he continues to develop, there will likely be several All-Star selections in his future."

On a team that possesses established All-Stars such as Joel Embiid and James Harden, along with another key contributor in Tobias Harris, Maxey has made himself hard to forget as he certainly doesn't live in the shadows of anybody in Philadelphia.

The Sixers struggled to get three All-Stars in the big showcase just two seasons ago when Embiid, Simmons, and Harris all had a solid case to land in the draft, but if Maxey takes another jump in year three, he could help the 76ers land three players in the big game for the first time since 1986-1987 when Charles Barkley, Maurice Cheeks, and Julius Erving starred for Philly. 

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.