In recent months, the Philadelphia 76ers have been linked to several big names rumored to be available on the trade market. They may currently be establishing an impressive performance in the 2020-21 NBA season, but to increase their chances of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy, they obviously need more star power around Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Though it’s a long shot, some people think that the Sixers could make major roster upgrades even without sacrificing either of that superstar duo.
According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, the Sixers have a realistic opportunity to make a “big-time acquisition” this season by using Tyrese Maxey as the main trade chip. With Simmons currently considered untouchable in any type of deal, Favale believes that Maxey is the best option.
“He’s a 20-year-old rookie who can score off the bounce and at every level, run some of the offense and defend like hell on the ball. His bag was on full display during the (ultrashort-handed) Sixers’ loss to the Denver Nuggets on Jan. 9, during which he racked up 39 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals. Offering him attached to salary filler isn’t getting Philly preferential treatment in talks for Bradley or Harden. But he’s still a potential gem, if not star, prospect who has three years left on his rookie scale, valued at an unfathomably low $9.7 million.”
Since being selected as the No. 21 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the 20-year-old Kentucky product immediately started carving a path to make a name for himself in the league. Maxey may be coming off the bench in Philadelphia, but whenever he’s given the opportunity to play, he sees to it that he’s giving his best on both ends of the floor. In his first 12 games in the NBA, he’s averaging 11.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.7 assists while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 31.0 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.
Maxey still has areas where he needs to improve, but there’s no doubt that he has huge potential to become an All-Star and a great two-way player in the league. Maxey is clearly not enough for the Sixers to land superstars on the level of James Harden and Bradley Beal. However, Favale thinks that a package featuring him, Shake Milton, Matisse Thybulle, and future picks could be interesting enough to catch the attention of teams that have disgruntled but quality players on their roster.