76ers Rumors: Tyrese Maxey Agrees to 5-Year, $204M Max Contract amid Paul George Buzz

Scott LogoFeatured Columnist IVJuly 1, 2024

DENVER, CO - MARCH 27: Tyrese Maxey #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on during the game against the Denver Nuggets on March 27, 2023 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)

Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly locked up a key part of their future Monday by signing All-Star guard Tyrese Maxey to a new contract.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Maxey and the Sixers came to terms on a five-year, $204 million maximum contract extension.

That move came on the heels of the Sixers and nine-time All-Star Paul George agreeing to a four-year, $212 million deal in free agency Monday morning, per Wojnarowski.

The 76ers already showed faith in Maxey when they exercised options for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons on his contract, but he was eligible for a rookie extension after the 2022-23 campaign even with those moves.

Yet there was no immediacy with that extension with both ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and PhillyVoice’s Kyle Neubeck reporting the 76ers didn’t offer it during the summer of 2023 as a way of maintaining their financial flexibility with uncertainty about James Harden and where the organization was headed before the following offseason.

The extension didn’t come during the summer of 2023, but it has now after Philadelphia traded Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers in the early portion of the 2023-24 campaign.

It also isn’t much of a surprise considering the 23-year-old proved worthy of a new deal with steady improvement during his first four seasons.

While Maxey was a secondary contributor as a rookie after Philadelphia selected him with a first-round pick in 2020, he took a notable leap into his second season and averaged 17.5 points, 4.3 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game while shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 42.7 percent from deep.

His presence helped make up for the loss of Ben Simmons, who was once seen as a franchise cornerstone.

Maxey’s development was one reason expectations were high for the 76ers entering the 2022-23 season. After all, Joel Embiid was an MVP-level big man, Harden was a future Hall of Famer directing the offense, and Tobias Harris was a well-known third option.

If the Kentucky product could make another leap like he did from his first to second year, the team would have been even better positioned in the Eastern Conference.

And he did just that.

Maxey played various roles for the 76ers as a starter in some games and a spark off the bench in others. His scoring ability quickly turned a number of games around, and his three-point shooting made him an ideal fit to take advantage of the consistent double teams Embiid faced on the blocks and Harden drew when he penetrated and distributed.

There remained some concerns about Maxey’s defense, but he was even more valuable for the title contender in 2022-23 and averaged 20.3 points, 3.5 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game while shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 43.4 percent from deep.

Unfortunately for the 76ers, even his steady play didn’t help them make it past the Boston Celtics in the second round of the playoffs.

Still, the Harden trade gave Maxey even more responsibility the next season, and he responded by winning the league’s Most Improved Player as a first-time All-Star in 2023-24.

It was a career-best season that saw him post 25.9 points, 6.2 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field and 37.3 percent from deep, but the 76ers still lost in the first round of the playoffs.

Maxey is a young playmaker who has proved himself a critical piece of the team’s present and future. The reward was a new contract, and he can now focus on helping the franchise make it past the second round for the first time since the 2000-01 campaign.

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