Tyrese Maxey has left a massive impression on just about everyone in his path since being drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers. The 21-year-old has shown some of the most impressive growth in basketball history and has become a key part of the Sixers’ future plans. While ending last season third in three-point percentage and doubling his points per game are accomplishments in themselves, there is one defining trait that will likely always be a part of Maxey- his pace.
The Kentucky product’s ability to get up and down the court in the blink of an eye is nearly unguardable. It plays a major role in setting up the rest of his game and this speed has also caught the attention of free-agent signing P.J. Tucker. Following Friday morning’s practice, Tucker was asked about Maxey and admitted to the media that “He’s definitely the fastest guy I’ve ever seen in my life. Tyrese is insanely fast, it’s scary. It’s scary,” per Ky Carlin of SixersWire.
The Impact of Tucker
This is strong praise from Tucker who has been around the NBA for quite some time. The 11-year NBA veteran has played along seemingly every different style of a player throughout his time in the league. He also went on to discuss how much Maxey’s pace makes a difference within the team and how his energy is infectious on and off the court.
While some were skeptical of the contract that was given to Tucker, his early impact has already been felt. The former Rockets standout has taken on some leadership responsibilities and has been one of the most vocal players throughout training camp. He has especially stood out on the defensive end and has been showered with praise from his teammates and coaches for how much his vocal leadership has been an asset to everyone. He may have gone scoreless in his preseason debut, but the off-ball screening has been essential to the team and helped Maxey and the rest of the team fill up the stat sheet.
Maxey’s Role With The Sixers
There has been so much talk about James Harden being the co-star that Joel Embiid needs, but the reality may be that Maxey is just as crucial to the team’s success. Coming off a season in which he averaged 17.5 points and exceeded all expectations, there seem to be more layers added to his game. He has added muscle to his frame, appears more polished, and has confidence in his own play in a way that was not the case through his first two seasons in the NBA.
Just as Tucker alluded to, the pace at which Maxey plays especially stands out on a Sixers roster that lacks in this area. Having James Harden take most of the playmaking responsibilities off of Maxey will allow him to continue flourishing as a scorer and provide the team with the offensive firepower that it needs. The young guard’s combination of finishing ability and long-range shooting gives him elite scoring potential. Harden and Embiid may be looked at as the duo that is leading the Sixers but expect Maxey to solidify his spot as a part of the offensive trio and potentially even climb the offensive pecking order even further.