Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey is one of the many budding stars that people are expecting a big year from in the 2022-23 NBA season. After establishing himself as a key player for the Sixers in his second year, the expectations are mounting.
Maxey is perhaps one of the most entertaining players to watch in the NBA. His blazing-fast speed and fantastic shooting touch from both the 3-point arc and with floaters make him a walking highlight reel when he gets going. Feeling more confident in himself and taking over the offense when he gets in rhythm will make him (and the Sixers) all the more dangerous.
Before a highly anticipated 2022-23 NBA season begins for Tyrese Maxey, here are three bold predictions for the Sixers guard.
3. Maxey becomes the Sixers' second-leading scorer
While expecting Tyrese Maxey to add nearly 10 more points per game to his stat line is a bit much, there's no reason he can't become a 20-point-per-game scorer. He came close last season with 17.5 points per game, improved his numbers over the course of the season and seems due for another bump.
Crossing the 20-point threshold shouldn't be too hard. The coaching staff wants Maxey to become more assertive and he needs to add less than three more points to his average to reach 20. The confidence Maxey displays in his shooting this preseason suggests that he's ready to embrace a role as one of Philly's key scorers this season.
One of the key factors in Maxey's scoring bump will be James Harden. As Doc Rivers looks to establish Harden as the clear second option behind Embiid and make him comfortable with getting his own looks, Maxey may still be the clear third option and remain in the sub-20 area. Even if he is, it shouldn't be by much. Maxey's improvements and hard work make it likely that he sees another increase in his PPG.
2. Maxey establishes himself as a good defender
While Maxey possesses limitless potential on offense that everyone can see, the other end of the court is a different question. As the Sixers look to become an elite defensive team, Maxey is trying to become more equipped to be a good defender. This could be the season that fans start to recognize him for his defense often.
Maxey is not currently a terrible defender but he is also not one of the premier stoppers in the NBA. Standing just 6-foot-2 with a skinny frame will make it hard for him to be an elite defender. The Sixers don't need him to be one, though. If he can just hold his own with fellow guards on a regular basis, he will be a huge asset on that end of the floor. Adding strength this offseason made him more switchable and less likely to be moved around by screens and driving ball handlers.
Pretty sure the list of people who could defend this play this well is a pretty short list. Great defense by Tyrese Maxey pic.twitter.com/O8WMlQnPRz
— Mavs/Magic Draft (@MavsDraft) January 20, 2022
As the 2022-23 season wraps up, basketball fans may start to consider Tyrese Maxey a two-way contributor. But before that, there is another title that fans will attach to his name: All-Star.
1. Tyrese Maxey makes the All-Star team
Even though Tyrese Maxey doesn't personally care that much about making an All-Star team, fans and media members will be keeping an eye on it. The opportunity to make the first All-Star game of his career is his for the taking.
His preseason scoring outbursts have given fans a glimpse of what could potentially be to come this season. His confident 3-point shooting — whether it's in transition or in the halfcourt, a pull-up or catch-and-shoot — will make it harder to sag off of him to account for his wicked speed. In the likely event that he gets his numbers up, Maxey should definitely be a strong contender to be an All-Star.
Maxey might even make a push to be an All-Star starter if the Sixers win enough games. It would greatly help him against guys who will most likely have clearly superior stats like Kyrie Irving and Trae Young. He probably won't reach that feat with Embiid and Harden putting up better numbers but it's still feasible. Another title he could take home is Most Improved Player.
Regardless of whether he gets any regular-season accolades, Tyrese Maxey is bound to have a huge 2022-23 season.