With the season being over now it is a good time to reflect on what Maxey was able to prove to his coaches, teammates, and fans. Maxey proved to be an elite offensive threat who can score from anywhere on the court, and can score efficiently. Maxey was a 42% 3 point shooter this season, which was third best in the league, while also showing off his unbelievable speed and ability to get to the rim.
Maxey was dynamic on offense and had moments, throughout the regular season and the playoffs, where he was absolutely dominant. Having said all of that, there is still reason to believe that Maxey could have an even better season next year and could even find himself in the all-star game.
James Harden Effect
Maxey will be coming in with his confidence at an all-time high and in a more defined role for this Sixers team next season. The moment the James Harden trade went through, Tyrese Maxey clearly took over Tobias Harris’s scoring role and became the Sixers third star. And with James Harden clearly focusing more on his facilitating than scoring, it leaves Maxey with an opportunity to take another massive leap.
James Harden is one of the best passers in the league, regardless of how you feel about his play towards the end of the season. Harden consistently finds the open man and is an elite playmaker for his teammates, even with his diminished scoring output. Harden had a rough year shooting, but was still able to lead the Sixers in assists and a lot of that was due to his connection with Tyrese Maxey.
Maxey and Harden immediately had chemistry on the court and even more importantly for Maxey’s development, they had chemistry off the court. Harden took Maxey under his wing and who better to help develop Maxey than a 3 time scoring champion and MVP. Harden averaged over 30 points per game over multiple seasons and is now working out an training with a 21 year old guard with all the potential in the world.
Maturity and Heartbreak
For most NBA prospects, the typical time it takes to know what kind of player they will be is 3 seasons in the league. You see this all the time with guys like Darius Garland, Jordan Poole, Ja Morant, RJ Barrett, etc. all making huge statistical leaps in their third season. Maxey just made a huge leap in his second season and can prove even more in this pivotal third season.
Maxey clearly worked his ass off to go from bench player to starter, and now has an opportunity to go from starter to all-star. After seeing all the improvements he made last season, Sixers fans cannot wait to see what he’ll look like next year. Last year he came back with a much improved jump shot, a tighter handle, and he physically filled out a lot too. Another year of work and continuing to fill out physically is going to make him an absolute issue for opposing teams.
All Maxey needs to do is workout this summer with the same intensity and dedication he did this past offseason and I believe he will make the all-star team next year. All he needs is a little motivation and he got plenty with how the Sixers went out in the playoffs this year. Doc Rivers even said that Maxey called him at 3am after their loss to the Heat, still reeling emotionally from the game. That feeling will be all the motivation he needs to attack this offseason like last year, and could lead to another breakout season.