Tyrese Maxey Proves His Diamond in the Rough Status in 2020 Re-Draft

Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers

Getty Tyrese Maxey #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Philadelphia 76ers had seven lottery picks during “The Process” — beginning in 2013 with Michael Carter-Williams through the ill-fated Markelle Fultz pick in 2017. And while Joel Embiid (No. 3 in 2014) is the unquestioned best of the bunch, Philadelphia also managed to occasionally hit on the margins.

The most recent example of the Sixers finding talent outside the lottery was Tyrese Maxey, who was picked No. 21 in 2020. And what a talent the Sixers stumbled upon. Maxey blossomed as a sophomore, stepping into the void left by Ben Simmons and exploding for 17.5 points per night on over 42% shooting from three.

By contrast, the Sixers’ previous pick in the late first round, Ty Jerome, spent time last season on Oklahoma City’s G-League team. Put another way, Jerome failed to crack a squad that won 2 games last year. All of that to say, Maxey’s ascension was far from a guarantee.

And Maxey’s strong play is resonating outside the City of Brotherly Love. In a recent re-draft of the 2020 NBA event, Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey had Maxey improving his draft position no fewer than 21 spots, to No. 5 overall. Of special note was how Maxey seemed to shine despite the clear playmaking talent at the top of the roster.

“Even on a team with James Harden and Tobias Harris, there were plenty of stretches when Maxey felt like the rightful second option behind Joel Embiid,” Bailey wrote on September 9. “He was certainly the best on the team at getting from the perimeter to the rim, and that kind of driving ability can make life easier for everyone else.”

Maxey rounds out a top five that, according to the redraft, would go (in order) Lamelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, and Desmond Bane.

Tyrese Maxey Among the League’s Greatest Risers in 2020 Re-Draft

Sliding from the back end of the draft’s first round into the lottery is no small feat. But it’s also a rise that a few other players managed in Bailey’s draft retrospective.

Both Bane and Immanuel Quickley saw major jumps into the lottery from the original draft position. Bane, who played college ball at TCU for four years before turning pro, was originally selected 30th by the Memphis Grizzlies. Yet, in Bailey’s do-over, Bane fell no further than fourth.

And Quickley, who shared the court with Maxey at the University of Kentucky, also shot up the re-draft boards. Originally taken 25th by the New York Knicks, Quickley’s shown out enough to warrant going No. 6 in a draft redo. And in his short time in New York, Quickley has drawn several comparisons to his old Big Blue teammate in Philadelphia.

The trio of Maxey, Bane, and Quickley might not have had major expectations coming into the league. But they’ve each repaid their teams triple-fold for their strong play so far. And Maxey’s star might still be continuing to rise next season.

Tyrese Maxey Expected to Make His First All-Star Game

In Bailey’s re-draft, both Tyrese Haliburton and Anthony Edwards went ahead of Maxey to different teams. But the three could be sharing a court together this season if CBS Sports’ Michael Kaskey-Blomain is correct. He tabbed all three players to make their first All-Star games next season.

It would be a huge boon if Maxey took an All-Star leap in 2022. The last team that sent three All-Stars to the midseason festivities was the Golden State Warriors in 2021. In Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggings, and Draymond Green, the Warriors were well represented at the All-Star Game.

Flash forward just a few months, and the Warriors won the Finals on the backs of their three All-Stars. So three All-Stars next season for Philadelphia would put them in seriously excellent company. Perhaps it could be an omen that the Sixers are primed for a deep playoff run.

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