Daryl Morey has never been afraid of the splashy move. With limited financial flexibility and real urgency to contend, the Sixers will undoubtedly scour the trade market in search of upgrades at every position. The bench needs serious work and, in all likelihood, the Sixers’ top-four of Joel Embiid, James Harden, Tobias Harris, and Tyrese Maxey are locked in.
That said, we have heard rumblings of potential Tobias Harris trades, while names like Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine will always make the fanbase’s ears perk up. Morey prizes star power above all else, and the Sixers could — with arduous creativity and severe risk — make the offseason’s splashiest move.
If the Sixers do pursue such a big name, however, it’s safe to say Tyrese Maxey will be off the negotiating table.
The Sixers will not trade Tyrese Maxey, period
According to Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice, the Sixers consider Maxey “as close to untouchable as you could be.” And for good reason. At 21 years old, Maxey has established himself as the hardest working player on the team and one of the most efficient off-guard scorers in the NBA. He made unthinkable strides in just his second NBA season, and could be due for even more impressive growth in year three.
Maxey is already teetering on the edge of All-Stardom. With Harden transitioning into a new phase of his career, Maxey will have every opportunity to explode as Philly’s No. 2 scorer and best perimeter shot-maker. He’s efficient shooting off the catch and has one of the quickest first steps in the game. Now, the next step is embracing his point guard tendencies and doing more to break down the defense one-on-one.
Also of note: Maxey is due only $2.7 million next season, and only $4.3 million in 2023-24 before his inevitable rookie extension kicks in. That is possibly the bargain contract in the NBA right now, and given the three expensive contracts at the top of Philly’s cap sheet, there’s infinite value in a star contributor who’s making next to nothing by NBA standards.
The list of players for whom Philadelphia should be willing to trade Maxey is extremely small. It’s hard to pass up on stars like Zach LaVine and Bradley Beal, both of whom are without question better than Maxey right now. The Sixers are trying to win a championship right now, too. But, when you factor in the collective cost (both Harris and Maxey, if not more), it’s probably best to hang up the phone if Maxey is the opposing front office’s sticking point.
Maxey averaged 17.5 points and 4.3 assists on 59.4 percent true shooting in his second NBA season. That is not common for the 21st overall pick. 21! That’s his age too! The Sixers are smart to consider Maxey untouchable. He’s the kind of player and person you don’t trade.