Trade Whispers to Franchise Fixture: Maxey’s Uncertain Path to Stability

Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports /

The Philadelphia 76ers found themselves a gem in the 2020 NBA Draft with Tyrese Maxey. In 196 games, Maxey has averaged 15.4 points per game (18.9 since becoming a starter in 2021) on 47.9% shooting from the field. He fielded in his best season in the previous campaign when he tallied 20.3 points per game in 60 games while shooting an impressive 43% from three-point range — well above the league average.

Not only did the Sixers find themselves a steal in Maxey, but they also got him for a great price given his pick slot. He was selected 21st overall and signed a 4-year, $12,152,560 contract in 2020, and it’s safe to say he will be earning much more than that when he becomes a (restricted) free agent in 2024.

Maxey is now eligible to sign a max five-year contract.

The contract has a starting salary worth up to 25% of the 2024-25 salary cap and 8% annual raises over the remainder of the deal. Maxey is expected to get a deal similar to Tyler Herro’s 4-year, $120 million dollar contract as the baseline of the negotiations. Both players are similar in the fact that they have experience in the starting lineup and on the bench, and are big-time scoring threats that can have a big impact on the game.

One of the reasons that Maxey has not been extended yet is because of the Sixers’ current cap situation. As it stands, they are over the luxury tax with several big contracts expiring at the end of the season including Tobias Harris, and James Harden (for now). By waiting until these contracts expire, the Sixers have the chance to make Maxey an offer that will allow the team to build around him and Joel Embiid as the core faces of the franchise.

While there have been rumblings of potentially being included in a trade for Damian Lillard, this talk appears to be dead, as Lillard is only open to being traded to the Miami Heat. Unless things take a dramatic turn, Maxey is expected to remain a Sixer for years to come.

Tyrese Maxey deserves a big payday from the Sixers.

He plays hard every play, and always gives 110% percent on and off the court, a characteristic that has made him a fan favorite in Philadelphia. This Sixers team is certainly better with him on the floor, as evidenced by his career +/- of +381. While he is prone to cold stretches, Maxey always turns it on and makes plays when it matters most for the Sixers. He was arguably Daryl Morey’s best draft pick (as Sixers president) to date and it’s time for him to reward Maxey.

While his tenure has not been a great one in Philadelphia, Morey has the chance to right the ship by extending Maxey and building a deep, talented roster that revolves around him and Embiid. He also has the opportunity to rebuild his reputation which has taken a hit due to the James Harden saga that doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. The NBA salary cap is going to continue to increase every year and by extending Maxey sooner rather than later, the Sixers will get yet another bargain with his new contract if they get it done.