Grading every Sixers player: Tyrese Maxey // A
Tyrese Maxey should have won the Most Improved Player award. He went from struggling bench guard to borderline All-Star in a single season, and there’s every reason to expect he will continue to grow from here. His work ethic and competitive spirit is unmatched, and he’s a big reason why the Ben Simmons holdout didn’t completely tank Philadelphia’s season.
The season didn’t end like anyone wanted — and Maxey was far from perfect in the postseason — but when you consider the circumstances, it’s impossible to lob anything but praise at the 21-year-old. He came out of Kentucky as an undersized guard with shooting concerns. Now, he’s one of the best shooters in the NBA (.485/.427/.866) and the Sixers’ No. 2 scorer in the postseason.
Maxey’s ceiling is sky-high. It’s rare to find guards with his blend of speed and skill. Most speedsters can’t shoot (John Wall, De’Aaron Fox), while most shooters in Maxey’s vein aren’t half as dynamic attacking off the catch. His first step is downright unfair, and he should only become more dangerous in transition as Harden gets used to finding Maxey with the outlet pass.
Philadelphia’s ability to compete is based largely on top-end talent. Finding a player of Maxey’s caliber late in the first round after all that has ailed this team over the past few years is huge. It will go down as a signature achievement for Daryl Morey’s front office, and it will continue to pay dividends for this Sixers team.