How the 76ers are risking a Kawhi Leonard-like situation by reportedly not extending Tyrese Maxey

The Philadelphia 76ers are in a considerably transitional state in the meanwhile. James Harden opted into the ultimate 12 months of his contract reportedly with the understanding that the 76ers would attempt to commerce him, ideally to the Los Angeles Clippers. The considered Daryl Morey ever buying and selling Harden was, at one time, unthinkable. A part of what would possibly make it palatable immediately is the presence of Tyrese Maxey.

Maxey is coming off of a breakout third season. He averaged 20.3 factors per recreation regardless of sharing Philadelphia’s again court docket with Harden. He is one of the explosive younger guards within the NBAand he is grown right into a stellar 3-point shooter over the previous a number of years as nicely. He has defensive limitations as a result of his dimension and he is not an excellent playmaker but, however Maxey is on a trajectory in the direction of turning into both a max-salary participant or one thing very, very shut.

The 76ers acknowledge this. They reportedly wish to maintain Maxey for the lengthy haul. Nevertheless, in line with Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voicethey do not plan to increase him this offseason.

The thought right here is to take care of most flexibility. By not extending Maxey, the 76ers clearly make him simpler to commerce, however in addition they set themselves as much as be a significant participant in 2024 free company in the event that they wish to. As of proper now, the one Philadelphia participant with a assured wage for the 2024-25 season is Joel Embiid. P.J. Tucker has a participant possibility. Everybody else they presently have may probably come off of the books, and they’ll seemingly due to this fact prioritize expiring offers in a Harden commerce for that precise cause.

That might give the Sixers max cap area and the suitable to retain to Maxey long-term. How? Maxey’s cap maintain as a restricted free agent subsequent summer time could be primarily based on his draft slot. He was the No. 21 general decide, in order that determine could be comparatively low: round $13 million. In different phrases, Philadelphia may go into subsequent offseason with nothing on its books however Embiid’s projected $51.5 million wage, Tucker’s $11.5 million participant possibility and a $13 million cap maintain for Maxey. The 76ers would after all in the end pay Maxey way over that. Nevertheless, by signing him final, they’d have the ability to deal with his cap determine as $13 million whereas they pursue different gamers. It will successfully create synthetic cap area, and with solely these three gamers on the books.

The 2024 free agent class could possibly be fairly good. Pascal I’m sorry could possibly be accessible if he doesn’t prolong with the Raptors. The identical is true of Jaylen Brown and the Celticsalthough a deal is extensively anticipated there. How does Dejounte Murray sound? The CBA roughly makes it inconceivable for the Hawks to increase him at his honest market worth. Veteran extensions can solely grant a 40% increase within the first 12 months of a brand new deal, however Murray is so underpaid at simply $17.7 million that he has no cause to simply accept such an extension. He’s due to this fact primarily a lock to turn into a free agent, and could possibly be an excellent long-term backcourt companion for Maxey as an even bigger guard who performs nice protection. Whether or not it is a kind of gamers or another person, the 76ers would most likely like to take care of the flexibleness to pursue an enormous title subsequent summer time. In pure, basketball phrases, that is the suitable strategy.

There’s one main drawback right here: the human aspect. Maxey has earned solely rookie-scale cash in his profession. He has earned considerably greater than that and he’s eligible to get it proper now. Positive, the Sixers can inform him that they will pay him subsequent offseason, however that places all the threat on his shoulders. What occurs if he tears his ACL? Or just has a down 12 months? Or will get traded to a group that does not make sense for him? Some gamers are comfy taking these sorts of dangers for the sake of serving to their groups come nearer to championship competition. Others aren’t.

Here is one notable instance of the choice backfiring. In 2014, Kawhi Leonard received Finals MVP in his third NBA season. He was eligible for a max contract extension instantly afterward. The Spursnonetheless, deliberate to pursue LaMarcus Aldridge in 2015 and wanted to take care of as a lot cap area as potential. They made Leonard wait, and so they in the end signed Aldridge. Three years later, Leonard was a Raptor. This wasn’t the one level of friction of their relationship, but it surely definitely did not assist issues.

Including to the issues right here? Maxey is represented by Wealthy Paul of Klutch Sports activities. Paul is likely one of the strongest brokers in basketball, and explicitly not somebody groups wish to defy. Paul additionally occurs to signify Murray, which may complicate a potential Philadelphia pursuit. Paul used to signify one other outstanding 76er: Ben Simmons. How a lot unhealthy blood stays over his controversial commerce request? Maxey was the one Klutch participant on Philadelphia’s roster final season.

This can be a high-risk, high-reward strategy to the offseason for Philadelphia. It most likely represents the group’s greatest probability at reorienting the roster within the wake of Harden’s inevitable departure. The 76ers merely haven’t got many different choices for remaining in championship competition. Most of their draft picks have already been traded. Maxey is their solely promising younger participant. They seemingly want one other affect addition or two to re-enter the title dialog with out Harden. That is their cleanest path to getting one.

However within the course of, they’d threat alienating the second-best participant they’ve left. Typically this strategy works. Typically it blows up within the faces of well-meaning executives. Solely time will inform if that occurs to Philadelphia, or in the event that they in the end handle to come back to a extra satisfying short-term decision.


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Revealed : 2023-06-30 21:00:57

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