NBA award predictions: Will the Sixers finally get recognized?

Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports /

2023 NBA Most Improved Player Prediction

93. . . . Tyrese Maxey. 1. player

2. Anthony Edwards, Timberwolves

3. Tyrese Haliburton, Pacers

The famous “third-year leap” is fast approaching for several Most Improved Player candidates. None more so than Tyrese Maxey, who’s ready to build on his revelatory second season for a Sixers team that’s well positioned to contend in the Eastern Conference.

Unlike Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Haliburton, who both achieved a level of stardom last season, Maxey is still on the precipice of truly elite NBA production. He could shatter whatever barrier stands between him and greatness in year three. We’ve already seen hints of what’s to come in the preseason: Maxey looks even more confident from 3 and he’s clearly taking a step forward as a playmaker.

Maxey is the electricity crackling through Philly’s offense. While Joel Embiid pounds out points in the paint and James Harden explores his old age, it’s Maxey’s blinding speed and feather-soft touch that makes the Sixers truly special. With so much attention being focused on Philly’s veteran superstars, Maxey is often left to attack third or fourth-best defenders who are behind on rotations and struggling to catch up. Once he’s moving downhill with an advantage, Maxey might be the most unstoppable 6-foot-2 guard in the NBA.

There’s a real chance Maxey is the Sixers’ No. 2 scorer, or at least building considerably upon his 17.5 points per game from last season. If he continues to refine his shot selection while commanding a bigger portion of the Sixers’ elite offense, Maxey will have no shortage of voters singing his praises.