NBA Future Watch: Tyrese Maxey Basketball Cards, Philadelphia 76ersNBA Future Watch: Tyrese Maxey Basketball Cards, Philadelphia 76ers Tyrese Maxey may be known for exuding positivity, but the challenges thrown his way during his breakout season have been extreme: COVID-19 exposure, a Christmas Eve house fire, and the prospect of having to replace Ben Simmons. Through it all, Maxey has displayed only the best of himself, personally and professionally, as he has plugged the Simmons-sized hole in the Philly lineup.

A consensus five-star recruit after a superlative senior season in metropolitan Dallas (22.2 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3.6 APG), Maxey was chosen as Texas Mr. Basketball and a McDonald’s High School All-American in 2019. The University of Kentucky beckoned, and Maxey immediately established himself as a big-time player with 26 points in his debut against top-ranked Michigan State. A 27-point effort against archrival Louisville on December 28 definitively demonstrated Maxey’s ability to rise to the occasion in big games.

With the COVID-19 pandemic depriving Maxey of the opportunity to demonstrate greater consistency in scoring and elevated playmaking during March Madness, he slid to the 21st pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Initially envisioned as a combo guard coming off the bench to provide instant offense, Maxey received an unexpected opportunity to prove himself in a greater role very early. On January 9, 2021, a wave of injuries colliding with a COVID outbreak left the 76ers shorthanded and forced Maxey into the starting lineup. The result? 39 points, seven rebounds and six assists – the highest-scoring debut in a starting lineup for a rookie in 51 years.

While minutes and opportunities were limited most of the way on a team in a win-now scenario, Maxey did post a FT% of .871, a tremendous indicator of future offensive potential at the pro level. During the offseason, as the Ben Simmons situation grew ever more uncomfortable, Philadelphia’s first preference was to replace him via trade. Instead, they were forced to turn to Plan B in the form of Maxey – and that scenario has been critical to the Sixers not missing a single beat. Maxey’s PPG (16.8), RPG (3.4), APG (4.4), 3% (.403) and FT% (.874) have been at a level that Philadelphia desired but could not have possibly expected at this early juncture in Maxey’s career.

NBA Future Watch: Tyrese Maxey Basketball Cards, Philadelphia 76ersGreater offensive consistency has been a key for Maxey’s improvement, as it will continue to be on his path to stardom. Maxey’s passing has been improving, and, again, will need to continue to do so, but it remains paired with a very impressive low turnover rate (1.2). Just as important, Maxey brings a happy, unifying energy to a locker room often populated with divisive personalities in recent years. Maxey’s positive aura, combined with his exciting game, seems poised to establish him as one of the game’s most popular stars in the years ahead.

 

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