The worst thing taking place this week on the hellscape known as Twitter is people trying to justify keeping Tyrese Maxey in a hypothetical Kevin Durant trade. You’ve got basketball fans out here twisting themselves into a pretzel trying to explain why they would retain a third-year player with a lot of promise in lieu of moving for a 12-time All Star with two titles.
Alas, we’re seeing stuff like this:
Yup. Tired of these bad takes. Rather have future All Star Maxey, for next 15 yrs & homegrown talent than Durant (known quitter) for a couple of maybe pretty good yrs. Will break down I am sure. Sixers always get screwed in these kind-of deals where they kinda go for broke. Nope!
— JA (@tuxxologist) August 12, 2022
First of all, Tyrese Maxey isn’t going to play in Philly “for next 15 years.” He’ll be 36 years old at that point and it would mean he played 17 straight years for one NBA team, which has a 0.00001% chance of happening.
Second, you’re trying to align championship windows here. If Joel Embiid has 2-4 years (we think), and James Harden has 1-3 years, then all you need from Durant is “a couple of maybe pretty good yrs.” Tyrese Maxey’s superstar window hasn’t even opened yet. It probably will, but it hasn’t yet. That’s why you do the Durant deal now, and give yourself a better chance of winning it all, because otherwise you come out on the back end with Maxey and nothing else.
Congrats, you’ve returned to the pre-Process days of one star player and nobody else!
12 straight all star games except for that season he missed entirely with one of the most devastating injuries a basketball player can suffer – Minor details 🤷♂️🤔
— Great Escape (@GlennQSpoonerSt) August 12, 2022
This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. Kevin Durant came back from the Achilles injury to average 34 points, nine rebounds, and four assists in the playoffs that season. He then played 55 regular season games this past year, averaging 30, 7, and 6, all while Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons were being weirdos and doing whatever they were doing. KD then put up 26/6/6 in this year’s playoffs as the short-handed Nets got swept by a far-superior Boston team.
Let’s not overthink this. Kevin Durant is a GENERATIONAL talent. Even at age 33, 34, 35, he is going to be a superstar , top-5 NBA player. I don’t understand why people are doing this “well if we don’t win it now, at least we’ll have Maxey to build around” take. Yes, that’s great, but James Harden will be gone and Joel Embiid will be a 30+ year old big at that point. Don’t leave yourself something on the back end if you can maximize the front end and align the windows right now. You do a Maxey/Durant trade one million times out of a million. Even if you move, for instance, Maxey, Harris, Thybulle, and picks, you’ve still got P.J. Tucker, Danuel House, De’Anthony Melton, Paul Reed, and Georges Niang to work with. That gets you an eight-man rotation for round one and a seven-man rotation for round two and beyond, which is all you need anyway. Depth is overrated. You don’t need depth in the playoffs, you need eight dudes, and who cares about a backup center? They should be playing small ball when Embiiid is off the floor anyway.
Team 1 gets you closer to a title than Team 2:
Team 1: James Harden, Joel Embiid, Kevin Durant, P.J. Tucker, Danuel House, De’Anthony Melton, Paul Reed, Georges Niang, Shake Milton, Furkan Korkmaz
Team 2: James Harden, Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, Tucker/House/Melton/etc
What we have here is fans using recency bias to grossly overrate one of their young players while blowing out of proportion the poor optics coming out of Brooklyn. The result is people trying to talk themselves into NOT TRADING FOR KEVIN DURANT.