The Philadelphia 76ers wouldn’t trade Tyrese Maxey, would they? If you listen closely to the hushed tones in Wells Fargo Center between Brickin’ Chicken attempts you just might hear at least one member of the front office ponder it aloud, only to be quickly whisked away to a Severance-esque Break Room.
The trade-him-or-keep-him debate is enough to spark all-out warfare. On one hand are the legion of Maxey supporters, bonding Kentuckians and Pennsylvanians alike in an unusual unity. On the other are those who believe that as good as Maxey is, he’ll never be the player (or deflector) of, say, Kevin Durant. City of Brotherly Love, no more!
One thing not up for debate: what the Sixers are looking for in any Maxey-related trade. While one Eastern Conference executive who spoke with Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney reported that “Philadelphia isn’t looking to deal Maxey,” the same executive did explain what Philly would ask for.
“[T]hey’d need to get a star if they were to package, say, (Tobias) Harris and Maxey together. Not that Toronto would do it but someone like (Pascal) Siakam, an All-Star type of player.”
Gauging Maxey’s Trade Value
Few players possess the tantalizing combination of speed, youth, promise, and scoring that Tyrese Maxey wields. In fact, Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale recently rated Maxey one of the nine best trade pieces (picks and players) at this point in the season.
“With two more years left on his rookie scale, the field of players worth dealing Maxey for has winnowed down even further from last season’s peak. And given the time Joel Embiid has already missed, plus the time James Harden is currently missing, perhaps the Sixers understand more than ever the benefit of pristine availability?”
Sixers GM Daryl Morey is one to rarely let his hands go idle. Chances are the team has fielded some preliminary calls involving Maxey. At the very least, we know the club has been discussing moves involving both Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle. Packaging all three together would certainly net the Sixers some type of “All-Star” talent, though who that talent is remains a real mystery.
While the Sixers likely want to keep Maxey as part of the long-term plan, the team needs him on the court regardless. Unfortunately, that’s been a bit of a problem this season.
Maxey’s Health a Concern Among Executives
The Sixers have been struck hard by the injury bug this season, with Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tobias Harris all missing some time. But when Tyrese Maxey went down and subsequently appeared in a walking boot, the entire city held its collective breath.
But according to one executive who spoke with Deveney, the time could be good for Maxey to get healthy and ready for the mid-season push.
“He did not look healthy even before he got the foot (injury). He is so quick, he can get to the basket any time he wants but he is not finishing there, he seems to have some struggles with that, but it is hard to tell if it is health or a slump or confidence or what. Maybe a little time off to get healthy, he will come back and be OK. But for a guy like him to have a hard time finishing plays, that is worrying, yes.”