Philadelphia 76ers select Tyrese Maxey with 21st overall pick

Tyrese Maxey | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Tyrese Maxey | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers have a new player: Kentucky product Tyrese Maxey.

As expected, the Philadelphia 76ers used the 21st pick in the 2020 NBA Draft to bolster their backcourt. Unexpectedly, the player selected was Tyrese Maxey, a freshman from Kentucky who many expected to come off the board earlier.

Maxey doesn’t address the Sixers’ foremost need — shooting — but he does have the skill set necessary to earn a spot in Doc Rivers’ rotation. At 6-foot-3, Maxey is one of the best perimeter defenders in the draft. His reputation as a competitor and shot-maker fit what Philadelphia is attempting to build.

At Kentucky, Maxey struggled with consistency — most notably from behind the arc, where he converted only 29.2 percent of his attempts. That said, his 83.3 percent conversion rate warrants optimism. He has tight mechanics and has a long track record of making big shots. There’s reason to believe he can develop into a passable shooter in the NBA.

The Sixers needed someone to create offense in the halfcourt. While Maxey isn’t a point guard by trade, Philadelphia is more than comfortable letting Ben Simmons function as the team’s playmaking engine. Maxey’s ability to get downhill, score out of the pick-and-roll, and finish creatively at the rim is plenty valuable.

Defense is probably what sold Philadelphia on Maxey. This organization has long prided itself on toughness, and Maxey has enough grit and spunk to carry a franchise. He’s a lockdown defender on the ball, and his awareness off-ball will pair nicely with Simmons and Matisse Thybulle, two players who already generate ungodly amounts of deflections.

The Sixers have the chance to field one of the best defensive teams in basketball, especially after adding Danny Green to the mix. Maxey fits the culture, and he shouldn’t have much trouble finding a niche offensively. The floor will open up considerably in Al Horford‘s absence.

Next. Sixers Draft Guide 2020. dark

Maxey was the No. 15 prospect on our big board. This was excellent value for Philadelphia.