NBC Sports Philadelphia's Sixers analyst Marc Jackson has watched Tyrese Maxey since the 21st overall pick was in ninth grade.
What type of player did the Sixers land in the first round of the 2020 NBA draft on Wednesday night?
"The offensive version of him has always grown, but he's always been an exceptional and willing defender," Jackson, the former Sixer and Temple product, said in an interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia's Danny Pommells. "He has always been that from Day 1. To see his maturation into an offensive threat and now being able to score is just beauty. I'm just so happy this guy fell to Philadelphia."
Maxey, a 20-year-old combo guard who averaged 14 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game as a freshman at Kentucky in 2019-20, shot only 29.2 percent from three-point range for the Wildcats. However, he went 100 for 120 (83.3 percent) from the charity stripe and had four games in which he made three or more three-pointers.
"In terms of his shooting numbers, I would say that would be somewhat of a concern, particularly at the outset," former Sixers coach and current NBC Sports Philadelphia analyst Jim Lynam said. "But given his foul shot is well into the 80s, he shoots like 84 percent from the free throw line, that's usually a good indication of his potential in terms of developing as a shooter. Right now, he's going to be able to score the ball I believe because he's a very, very good penetrator and I love the way he finishes — either hand and in a lot of different ways, a very creative player in the basket area."
Jackson likened Maxey's offensive approach to Lou Williams' and Derrick Rose's, for different reasons.
"He's such a dynamic scorer off the bounce," Jackson said. "He's going to try to beat you, put you on your heels, make you run up your chest and getting to the rim and collapsing that defense."
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