NBA Draft: Sixers Select Kentucky Combo Guard Tyrese Maxey at #21 Overall

Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If you asked the experts, they would have said Tyrese Maxey would be off the board before the Sixers hit the clock. Most mock drafts had him going in the 15-20 range.

But the chips fell the right way for Philadelphia, who stood pat and landed the Kentucky combo guard at #21 overall.

He’s a good player, a 6’3″ freshman who played both on and off the ball for John Calipari in Lexington. The physical traits are there, and he’s got a sturdy 200 pound frame with a 6’7″ wing span that helps him defend both opposing guards and wings. Maxey is quick, moves really well in transition, and is a solid finisher in the lane. He’s got a really nice floater and finds different ways to score in the paint.

One of the concerns would be his three-point percentage of 29.2. He didn’t excel in that area, but he’s just 20 years old and has plenty of time to improve on that. Maxey averaged 14 points, four rebounds, and three assists in his one year of collegiate basketball.

Here are some various notes on Maxey, first from NBA Draft Room:

“Maxey isn’t really a true 2 guard and he’s not a pure 1. He’s a combo guard who can score the ball and get hot from outside but needs to develop his point guard skills and hit the 3pt shot at a higher clip.

Although he doesn’t have great size he’s a stout defender who can hold his own against taller players and keep pace with point guards. He’s pesky and tenacious and plays hard on defense.”

From ESPN’s Jonathan Givony:

“With his first pick at the helm of the Philadelphia 76ers, Daryl Morey got strong value by selecting Kentucky combo guard Tyrese Maxey.

A tough, aggressive, prolific scoring guard who can defend multiple positions and loves to play downhill, Maxey has significant upside to grow into with the Sixers. Maxey will need to find consistency with his jump-shot to earn immediate playing time operating alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid”

From NBA.com –

“Spending time playing both on and off the ball in Kentucky’s three-guard lineups, Maxey did much of his scoring as a shooter relocating on the perimeter and by making a consistent effort to sprint up the floor in transition.  He also fared well creating for himself and others as a secondary ball handler in the pick and roll as his combination of quickness and ability to make shots from all over the floor shined for stretches of his freshman year.  Having some ups and downs from the field, the Wildcats whose offense thrived when he was delivering from the perimeter.”

It’s a good pick. The Sixers did what we asked them to do, and took a solid player who fit a position of need without getting fancy or moving up or down the draft board. Maxey has plenty to learn but the ceiling is high and he seems to really enjoy playing the game. He made some big baskets for Kentucky, especially in that Michigan State game early in the season.

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