Sixers’ 2020 NBA Draft Picks Earn Former Rookie of the Year’s Praise


Getty Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey during a Summer League game against the Dallas Mavericks on August 9.

The Philadelphia 76ers are 2-0 in NBA Summer League thus far, which, at this point, means about as much as every Ben Simmons three-pointer this offseason.

What has been very noteworthy through the pair of midsummer tune-ups is the play of some promising Philly youngsters, especially 2020 draft selections Tyrese Maxey and Isaiah Joe. Maxey – who said earlier this week that he talks to Simmons “all the time” – dropped a team-high 21 points in 25 minutes during Monday’s win over the Dallas Mavericks, while Joe drilled a game-best four shots from outside and hit all three of his free throws for 15 points.

The duo stepped it up even more so in Thursday night’s 96-88 overtime thriller against the Atlanta Hawks, and 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year Ja Morant took notice.

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“maxey and joe tough,” Morant tweeted, followed by two exclamation point emojis. “they getting to it”

Despite trailing by nine after the first frame, Maxey, Joe and “B-Ball” Paul Reed led a comeback, as the trio combined for 72 points, 23 rebounds and 12 assists.

Morant Sat Courtside for the OT Thriller and Made His Presence Known


GettyMemphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant during a playoff game in June.

Morant – who was the second overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft – helped lead the Grizzlies to the playoffs in the spring for the first time in four years.

Despite the game going down to the wire, Morant had no stake in the contest and appeared as relaxed as ever courtside with overtime winding down.

Earlier in the game, Morant took to social media as well and made a telling comment about Hawks rookie Sharife Cooper.

Cooper was the 48th overall selection by Atlanta – just a couple of slots ahead of the Sixers’ Filip Petrusev and five spots before Charles Bassey – but had a huge 21-point, 12 assist double-double against Philadelphia.

Maxey Has Been a Huge Standout in Early Summer League Action


GettyPhiladelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey during a Summer League game against the Dallas Mavericks on August 9.

A panel of ESPN experts broke down the “biggest surprises and disappointments” from early Summer League action on Friday morning and Mike Schmitz wrote that he’s been particularly impressed with Maxey. Answering the question “Who has been the best ‘veteran’ at summer league?”, Schmitz wrote this:

“Though he’s far from a ‘veteran,’ Tyrese Maxey has really caught my eye thus far,” Schmitz said. “After shooting just 30.1% from 3 as a rookie and often turning down open looks in favor of downhill attacks, Maxey has been hunting pull-up 3s from well beyond the arc. If Maxey’s improved shooting is a sign of things to come, I’d expect him to make a huge jump this upcoming season when you consider his already impressive rim attacks and defensive activity.”

Maxey, Joe, Reed and company will play their third Summer League tilt at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday against the Boston Celtics.

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