Ben Simmons made his trade request official today, telling the Sixers brass he will not report to training camp and is prepared to hold out. Keith Pompey made the report. Now, it appears Ben Simmons is not the only Klutch client wrapped up in this mess.
According Jason Dumas of Bleacher Report, Rich Paul would like “both of his clients” out of Philadelphia. His other client on the Sixers roster is Tyrese Maxey, the universally beloved rookie who many have pinned as the long-term replacement for Simmons at point guard. Maxey also shares a trainer with Simmons, and has worked out with the All-Star all summer.
It has even gone so far that local organizations around Philly have been told to cancel community event plans with Maxey.
Sixers rumors suggest Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul would like Philadelphia to include Tyrese Maxey in any Ben Simmons trade.
There’s a lot to unpack here. First, it’s somewhat disheartening to see Maxey’s name turn up in rumors like this. There’s a certain purity and innocence to a 20-year-old who is universally beloved in the city, and this is a one-way ticket to bad blood — even if this feels like much more of a Rich Paul move than a Tyrese Maxey move.
Second, Rich Paul has zero leverage here. The Sixers should not care, and Maxey does not have the requisite stature to hold out Simmons-style. Maxey is under contract for three more seasons, and Philadelphia will own his restricted free agency rights after that. Unless the Sixers are upgrading over Simmons, there is no reason to include Maxey.
Even so, in this era of player empowerment, agents can hold a lot of sway — none more than Rich Paul, who has a smorgasbord of NBA stars on his clientele list, and who clearly does not like the Sixers very much.
If the Sixers do include Maxey in a trade, it should at least up the return value. Maxey could approximate the value of a top-10 pick when all is said and done. Not to mention his fit with Ben Simmons. Long term, it’s wise to have a guard who can penetrate the defense and create in the halfcourt to pair next to Simmons. Maxey can fulfill that role, hypothetically.
On a random side note, Nerlens Noel is suing Rich Paul for $58 million, claiming he didn’t let the former Sixer know of teams who wanted to sign him (Philadelphia included).
In the end, Sixer fans probably shouldn’t panic yet. There’s really no incentive for Philadelphia to trade Maxey, even if Rich Paul plays hardball and threatens to steer clients away (…again?). That said, it’s pretty alarming to see Maxey pop up like this. If you trade Simmons, you ideally want Maxey as a key part of the future. The Sixers’ point guard depth is otherwise appalling.
UPDATE: Jason Dumas has retracted his report and stated Maxey is “excited” about the upcoming season in Philly.
And that’s that.