3 draft day Tyrese Maxey takes that were laughably wrong

The Philadelphia 76ers stole Tyrese Maxey with the No. 21 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. A few pundits at the time were extremely wrong about the speedy two-guard.
Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers
Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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The Philadelphia 76ers landed Kentucky guard Tyrese Maxey with the No. 21 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. There were several folks who pegged Maxey as a draft night steal, but others completely whiffed on Maxey's projection. Plus, even some of the more optimistic draft analysts failed to dream big enough.

In three NBA seasons, Maxey has emerged as a full-time starter and the foundation of Philadelphia's remaining title hopes. Joel Embiid is the center of the universe in Philadelphia, but Maxey is knocking on the door to stardom at a critical juncture in franchise history. If the Sixers have any path to winning a title with the current group, it will involve a heavy dose of Maxey.

Maxey shot poorly in college, but many expected his percentages to improve in the big leagues. He averaged 14.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.2 assists on .427/.291/.833 splits in one season with the Wildcats. He was billed as a potential lottery pick, but he ultimately fell due to one concern or another.

Hindsight illuminates the foolishness of a dozen teams who let Maxey slip through the cracks.

The speedster averaged 20.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists on .481/.434/.845 splits in his third NBA season. While Maxey has no doubt benefited from the defensive attention paid to Embiid and James Harden in recent years, he deserves all the credit in the world for his relentless work ethic and selfless attitude. Maxey is a beacon of light for the NBA's gloomiest fanbase, and these draft day takes were simply... wrong.

Shaky Tyrese Maxey NBA Draft take: "[He] isn’t a potent shooter, but he has a knack for scoring"

Scott Gleeson of USA Today gave the Sixers a rock-solid 'B' for the Maxey selection. He brought to light concerns about Maxey's inefficient jumper.

"Trading Al Horford, a bad fit on the Sixers’ roster, to acquire a band of solid guards, was the right call for new coach Doc Rivers’ squad. Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey isn’t a potent shooter, but he has a knack for scoring."

It's hard to complain too much about such a positive grade, but that was lukewarm even back then. Now, anything short of a resounding 'A' would be blasphemous. Maxey is not only a potent shooter, but he's one of the best shooters in the NBA, period.

Last season, Maxey hit 43.4 percent of his 6.2 attempts per game from 3-point range. He has extended his range well past the NBA 3-point line and he's confident spotting up, pulling up off a screen, or shooting movement 3s working different actions on the perimeter. Next to Embiid, that's an invaluable attribute.

It's hard to deny the shooting concern at the time — Maxey's 3s didn't fall at Kentucky and he didn't show any inclination to take deep shots — but that just goes to show much we don't know about players before the draft. Maxey's feather-soft touch and better high school numbers clearly triumphed over his momentary struggles in college.

The Sixers should be thanking their lucky stars that teams thought Maxey was a non-shooter.