Sixers: Ranking James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, and every NBA backcourt

James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The 2022-23 NBA season is right around the corner. For Philadelphia, that means championship expectations. A big reason for those expectations is the Sixers‘ backcourt, comprised of the old guard (James Harden) and the new guard (Tyrese Maxey).

The Harden-Maxey partnership blossomed quickly last season, with Harden’s playmaking prowess allowing Maxey to focus on his strengths: 3-point shooting and attacking a rotating defense off the catch. Now with a full summer to build chemistry and further the relationship, we could see even more from the duo in 2023.

That being said, where does the Sixers’ backcourt sit in the hierarchy of NBA backcourts? We go through all 30 teams to figure out just how highly Philadelphia’s guards rank.

. San Antonio Spurs. 30. team. 29. .

30. Tre Jones & Josh Primo, Spurs

San Antonio could go a couple different directions here, but with Dejounte Murray no longer on the roster, it’s officially time to embrace the youth movement. Josh Primo showed flashes as the youngest player in the NBA last season. Expect the Spurs to give him plenty of reps in year two. Meanwhile, Tre Jones is a rock-solid floor general who can kick off the rebuild as San Antonio’s stopgap starting point guard.

. Los Angeles Lakers. 29. team. 20. .

29. Russell Westbrook & Austin Reaves, Lakers

The Lakers’ starting backcourt isn’t set in stone, but Russell Westbrook is probably going to get the starting nod if he’s still around. Next to him could be any number of players, but the best bet is Austin Reaves. The former second-round pick shined as a rookie, emerging as a consistent two-way wing who can spot-up along the perimeter and feed off of LA’s stars.

. . Houston Rockets. 28. team. 169.

28. Kevin Porter Jr. & Jalen Green, Rockets

Kevin Porter Jr. is a polarizing prospect. He doesn’t really play winning basketball yet, even if the talent is undeniable. His future will depend entirely on whether or not he can adjust his approach, improve on defense, and really buy into team basketball. Jalen Green, on the other hand, is primed for a monster second season. He accrued some impressive scoring totals toward the end of his rookie year and the Rockets will tailor the offense to him even more in 2022-23. He could single-handedly move Houston up this list before the season is over.