The Philadelphia 76ers picked guard Tyrese Maxey with the 21st overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. He will bring a unique skill set to add to a talented starting five.
Daryl Morey already got to work prior to the NBA Draft on Wednesday night, as he was able to get out of Al Horford‘s contract by attaching first and second-round picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder in return for Danny Green.
Hours later he added to his roster by selecting Tyrese Maxey. Later in the night, Morey acquired Seth Curry from Dallas for Josh Richardson and the 36th pick (who they used on Colorado’s Tyler Bey).
Maxey doesn’t figure to be in the starting five but Doc Rivers is expected to get a valuable player off of the bench, as he averaged 14 points and 4.3 rebounds with 3.2 assists last season under John Calipari at the University of Kentucky. After the Richardson trade, Maxey could move over to small forward at least temporarily because he is a physical player.
The 20-year-old should slot in behind Ben Simmons and Danny Green on the depth chart. Maxey stands at 6 foot 3 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds.
The Athletic’s draft guru Sam Vecenie spoke fondly of Maxey’s strengths in his 2020 Draft Guide.
“Good size and length for a combo guard in the NBA at 6-foot-3 with a 6-foot-6 wingspan. Consistently plays hard. Also has a great frame. Very strong and physical at 200 pounds. Well-built and will translate to the NBA in that regard. Looks like an NFL safety. Uses that physicality and strength well to play through contact at a high level.”
The 76ers needed shooting coming into this draft and he comes with the ability to be a scorer. “He has a great feel for how to score the ball. Plays with tremendous tempo as a ballhandler with all sorts of inside outs and hesitation moves. Likes to jab step to try to get the defender off balance. Kind of like a junk baller pitcher in the ways that he tries to get a defender leaning,” Vecenie described.
“Good shooter at lower levels, with projectable touch and shot mechanics. Honestly, the pull-up shot looks great. He has terrific rhythm and it’s incredibly smooth. It’s an easy shot. Really gets into his pull-up game at a high level. Great balance coming in and out of his moves makes him a threat to pull-up from almost any angle and going to either his right or his left. Unsurprisingly, that makes him a pretty real threat, particularly in the midrange.”
Maxey said on draft night that he learned a lot of Rajon Rondo and will look to translate his game at the NBA level in Philadelphia.
76ers fans will enjoy seeing Maxey making an impact at both ends of the court, as Vecenie wrote in his scouting report. “Love his potential as an on-ball defender. Plays really hard on that end, and uses his length and strength to really bother opponents. Attacks with forward jumps into offensive players’ bodies, then can slide to stay in front and recover. Really just pesters and makes it hard on ballhandlers,” Vecenie continued. “Again, because of his strength, it’s really hard for guys to go through him. He slides and cuts off the angle, then absorbs contact if someone tries to play through him. Again, this is where you see his overall balance shine.”
All signs point to Morey and the 76ers getting their first-round pick right. Time will tell how big of an impact Maxey has in his rookie season.
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