Philadelphia 76ers Poll: Fans narrowly think Tyrese Maxey is untouchable

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Through the first game of Las Vegas Summer League – at least for the Philadelphia 76ers – there hasn’t been a more impressive player than Tyrese Maxey.

The “elder statesman” of the ‘Summertime Sixers,’ with 61 games and eight starts at the NBA level, Maxey looked like a man among boys in the team’s blowout win over the Dallas Mavericks, near-single handily outscoring Mark Cuban’s club in the first quarter alone.

Though Maxey didn’t finish out the game with the most points of any of the players in attendance, that honor goes out to Terrell Terry, who scored one more point in 6.4 additional minutes of action, Maxey was by far the game’s most efficient contributor; going for 21 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals in 25.2 minutes of action.

Fun fact: Maxey currently ranks seventh in +/- in summer league, trailing behind Paul Reed, Ignas Brazdeikis, Herbert Jones, Xavier Tillman, Desmond Bane, and current high-man in the league/fellow Sixer Isaiah Joe.

So naturally, with representatives for all 30 NBA teams in attendance, a string of solid performances from Maxey would make him a hot commodity from a trade standpoint, right? Especially when you consider the Sixers are looking to make the sort of roster-resetting deal that makes the rest of the Association turn their heads.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, not so fast, my friends. While Tyrese Maxey is among the more intriguing trade chips the Philadelphia 76ers have to offer, a solid segment of the fanbase believes his potential should be enough to make him untradeable, at least according to our very formal poll.

Would the Philadelphia 76ers trade Maxey’s future to contend right now?

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Tyrese Maxey is 20-years-old.

He spent a single, pandemic-altered season at the University of Kentucky, fell out of the lottery because of his lack of a reliable outside shot, and signed a four-year, $12.15 million contract that will keep him under Philadelphia 76ers’ control through the 2023-24 NBA season.

As a rookie, Maxey averaged eight points, two rebounds, and .4 steals a game, while hitting 46.2 percent of his shots from the field, 30.1 percent of his shots from beyond the arc, and 87.1 percent of his 1.1 free throws in roughly 15.3 minutes of action a night.

While Maxey never quite transformed into the sort of pass-happy technician capable of running an offense like a grizzled pro, his defense shored up with each passing month, and he looked completely comfortable running the point for the Sixers in their pair of playoff rounds.

Maxey even improved his chemistry with Joel Embiid as the season went along, going from a regular season +/- of -3 in 205 minutes when paired up with the team’s best player to a +23 +/- in 53 minutes of action during the playoffs.

Will Maxey ever become a player of Damian Lillard’s caliber? *chupse* probably not, but considering he won’t be in his NBA prime until 2024 if we fall back to the time-honored trope that such a thing happens between 25-32, there’s plenty of time to see such a thing out.

… unless you’re currently employing a 27-year-old center with a long injury history. Then maybe you don’t want to wait around hoping you have the next De’Aaron Fox when actual De’Aaron Fox could conceivably be had via trade.

Clearly, there are diverging opinions on the topic.

Though the sample size is rather small – we usually break into the mid-100s on such a poll – it’s not hard to see why either side would make a strong case for or against keeping Maxey long-term. To some, he has the potential to be a legitimate game-changer, the sort of draft-day steal you don’t cash out on if you don’t have to.

But, then again, if you want to make a trade for a legitimate game-changer, you sort of do have to cash out on Maxey-level assets to get such a deal done.

Mind you; this isn’t a George Hill-for-Kawhi Leonard-level trade where one is an unproven NBA prospect and the other capped out as a 12.6 points per game scorer on his previous team. Landing a player like Damian Lillard is the sort of move that can change a franchise’s fortunes immediately, sort of like how the addition of Leonard turned the Toronto Raptors from a consistently good playoff team into NBA champions.

Much like the Raptors in 2018, the Sixers have a top-tier roster in place and enough assets to swing a deal if need be. Swapping out Ben Simmons, a DeMar DeRozan-level All-Star player in this scenario, plus a player like Maxey and additional picks/young players could be that one final bit of effort needed to get the Sixers where they want to be and break a 39-year championship drought.

Next. Don’t be surprised if trade partners want Isaiah Joe. dark

So what do you think? Should the Philadelphia 76ers be willing to include Tyrese Maxey in a trade for an established superstar, or would it make more sense to hold onto him and hope he becomes said superstar before Joel Embiid’s prime comes to a close? Let us know!