Should Tyrese Maxey Be Viewed As Untouchable?
While Ben Simmons rots away in whatever location he’s in, the 76ers have another dilemma on their hands. This time, it’s probably a good problem to have. Remember that time the Miami Heat wouldn’t part with Tyler Herro to acquire James Harden? Right or wrong, maybe we should start to have that conversation about Tyrese Maxey?
Should Tyrese Maxey be viewed as untouchable? I guess no player is untouchable but Maxey might have a case to be viewed as off limits in trade discussions. In fact, Doc Rivers has already told John Calipari that Philadelphia will not trade Maxey.
“I was worried to trade Ben, they were going to have to move Tyrese,” Calipari told the 94WIP Morning Show on Thursday. Rivers’ response? No way.
“I said, the way they could move him is, ‘I’ll take Ben, but I gotta have Tyrese.’ And I said to Doc, please tell me that’s not happening,” he continued. “(Rivers) said, ‘Never happen.’ He said, ‘Look at my eyes, that will never happen.’ So I probably shouldn’t say that publicly.”
That might not be the incorrect take. Maxey, 21, is having an unreal sophomore campaign for the 76ers. The former Kentucky guard is averaging 16.9 points and 4.8 assists while shooting over 40% from deep in more than 35 minutes of action per night. Coach Cal was right; Maxey should have gone much higher than 23rd in his draft class.
That’s all great. Daryl Morey hit on the Maxey pick. It doesn’t solve the real issue. As long as Ben Simmons is on the roster, the 76ers are tasked with trying to remove him from said roster. All options should be on the table. Because the new NBA paradox still exists. If you’re not willing to throw max money at any promising young player, he’s gone.
That’s how the 76ers got stuck with Simmons in the first place. Well, he was the first overall pick and isn’t totally worthless. So let’s throw $177 million his way because that’s just how we do business in the NBA. Sad but true.
Morey can say whatever he wants but the sad truth remains. Nobody wants Simmons. Nobody wants him at the price point Morey is pushing for either. The James Harden rumors are bullshit too. It’s nonsense planted by Morey in hopes that someone will take his Simmons poo-poo platter of white dog shit that he got stuck with from the Step Brothers movie.
The 76ers are not a championship team until they get the Simmons situation resolved. Maxey is a great piece to an eventual contender. I can say the same thing about Seth Curry. At the end of the day, stars win titles. Maxey is a great young player but has a ways to go before he reaches Donovan Mitchell levels of stardom.
That’s really what it’s all about, right? Is Maxey a max (pun intended) guy? If the answer is no, Philadelphia shouldn’t be afraid to explore throwing Maxey in a potential Simmons deal if it makes the most sense to do so.
At the end of the day, Morey has remained delusional for far too long. A trade with the Sacramento Kings is just staring him in the face. Take De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, and keep it moving. No, you don’t move a guy like Maxey in that trade but it’s something we shouldn’t totally rule out? Does it really matter what Doc Rivers says?
For now, the 76ers have a great young player on their hands. It sure helps that he’s on a super cheap deal for the time being too. At the end of the day, the 76ers have to face the harsh reality soon. Just Joel Embiid isn’t enough and you can’t miss his peak window. Maxey should be part of the 76ers future. It just may not matter with this Simmons black cloud hanging over the franchise.