Philadelphia 76ers are trying to find a way to defuse the situation with Ben Simmons, as the three-time All-Star made known that he will not attend the Sixers’ training camp.
While Philadelphia does not seem ready to give up Simmons for anything less than an All-Star player and future draft compensation, the championship aspiration of the franchise is making things harder.
The Sixers will need to give up their second-best asset, a DPOY candidate and a three-time All-Star, while they also claimed that they want to win now.
Whereas the situation around Simmons is still complicated, the Sixers could find a third star in the training camp, besides Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris.
Tyrese Maxey has shown flashes of his talent during his rookie season. He was able to find a steady role during the second part of the season, offering a good amount of energy and excitement.
Enter Tyrese Maxey
During last year, he sophomore guard had 61 games under his belt, while he also entered the Sixers’ starting line-up eight times. In his first start, he scored a career-high 39 points in a game that Philadelphia had six active players.
The rookie ended up averaging 8.0 points, 2.0 assists and 1.7 rebounds per contest, shooting 46.2 percent and 30.1 percent from deep in the regular season.
The great challenge for Maxey this season, especially with Ben Simmons out of the picture, will be to adjust his play and become more eager to pass the ball, especially in pick and roll situations.
During the two games he played with the Sixers’ Summer League team in Las Vegas, the explosive guard had 26 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.
Maxey was pulled out by the Sixers after the second game, as he was deemed to be ‘too good’ to play in the Summer League.
Maxey does not possess the proneness of Simmons in the playmaking department, but he is more aggressive on the offensive side, and that could be a plus, especially in potential set play scoring opportunities.
Danny Green, a seasoned veteran in the NBA and Maxey’s teammate, believes that the Kentucky product will soon be a star in the league.
“He’s special, and I’m sure everybody can see that,” Green said on the Sixers’ media day Monday. “If he continues to do what he does, he’s going to be a really special player in this league.
He carries himself like a star and I believe one day he will be a star. A lot of these young guys I think one day will be stars, but Tyrese for sure, you can see he’s a special player.”
What the Sixers will do without Simmons
Despite his shortcomings on the offensive end, Simmons was an integral part of the Philadelphia 76ers’ regular season success last year.
Maxey will not be able to carry the weight alone in the point guard position, while Shake Milton has not shown a natural ability to run the point.
Furthermore, Seth Curry could be a temporary solution, as he ran some point guard duties during last season. He even did it in the playoff series against the Hawks and the Wizards, when Simmons was not on the floor.
The Sixers are hoping to reconcile their relationship with Ben Simmons; however, the Australian guard seems to be unmoved and he wants to be traded immediately.
Until it becomes clear what the 76ers will do with Simmons, Maxey could take his chance as the Sixers’ starting point guard.
Maxey has been cited as a hard-worker, with several Sixers’ teammates and coaches praising him, even though he’s still in his second season in the NBA.
“I said this last year about them. This is the best-working young group I’ve ever had in my 21 years… that group is, for whatever reason, they’re just workers. I’m really excited about it,” Doc Rivers said on Monday.
This year, Maxey will have the chance to work with the rest of the team in the training camp, as last offseason was quite different due to COVID-19 protocols.
With or without Simmons, Philadelphia will need to re-purpose their guard tantrum and find a solution coming from the current squad, at least until the Sixers find a trade deal for the three-time All-Star.
Under the right circumstances, Maxey could be the solution for the 76ers this year.