Tyrese Maxey

Sixers’ Tyrese Maxey Signs Rookie Contract

The Sixers have signed first-round pick Tyrese Maxey, the team announced in a press release. A 6’3″ guard out of Kentucky, Maxey was the 21st overall selection in last month’s draft.

Terms of the deal were not released, but as a first-round pick Maxey is eligible to earn up to 120% of the rookie scale, which would be $2,478,840 for the upcoming season.

Maxey played one season for the Wildcats, earning a spot on the All-SEC Second Team and the SEC All-Freshman Team. He averaged 14.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 31 games.

Now that Maxey is officially under contract, there are no outstanding rookie deals still to be completed for 2020 first-round picks. Twenty-nine of those 30 players have signed their first NBA contracts, with the 30th player – Leandro Bolmaro – remaining in Barcelona for the 2020/21 season.

Draft Notes: Hayes, Anthony, Maxey, Zoom

The Knicks were hoping to work out Killian Hayes before Wednesday’s draft, but a COVID-19 outbreak may prevent that from happening, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. The team had to close its training facility in Tarrytown after three staff members tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.

New York will consider the French point guard with its No. 8 pick and he may be an even stronger possibility if the Knicks trade down. The team has collected plenty of information on Hayes, such as his measurements and medical records, and interviewed him via Zoom.

“Everyone saw the progress and a lot of changes to my game,’’ Hayes said. “What I really improved on, really, is my body. As soon as you see me, there’s a big difference and change from eight months ago to now. … The player that I was back in March is not the same player I am today. I’ve really leveled up a lot.”

Hayes turned 19 in July, making him one of the youngest players in the draft. However, he faced much older competition in Germany and says fellow Frenchmen Frank Ntilikina and Sekou Doumbouya have helped him prepare for the NBA.

“I learned a lot being able to leading a group of grown men,’’ Hayes said. “I’m used to playing against a lot of physicality. People coming at me. That will definitely help me.’’

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Cole Anthony believes his love for the game will help him succeed in the NBA, writes Chris Dortch of NBA.com. Anthony demonstrated his commitment by returning to the court for North Carolina after undergoing surgery during the season to fix a small meniscus tear in his right knee. “A few things went into my decision to keep playing,” he said. “But first and foremost, I love the sport of basketball. A lot of people say that, but they don’t really mean it. I truly love the game. And I wasn’t going to sit out when I was healthy and I could go.”
  • In an interview with Ethan Fuller of Basketball News, Tyrese Maxey said he’s been working to improve his outside shot after hitting just 29% from beyond the arc in college. “You have to be able to shoot the ball at the next level,” Maxey explained. “As a guard my height, and guards in the NBA, period, it’s hard to be on the floor and play in an NBA game without being able to knock down wide-open threes. I feel like I’m a way better shooter than what the numbers say.”
  • Teams are relying on Zoom and other technology to handle the unusual circumstances surrounding this year’s draft, writes Mark Medina of USA Today.

Draft Notes: Anthony, Vassell, Maledon, Maxey

Southeast Division clubs have shown the most interest in North Carolina point guard Cole Anthony. He’s had individual workouts for the Wizards, Heat and Magic, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News tweets. The son of former NBA guard Greg Anthony is ranked 19th on ESPN’s Best Available list. The Wizards own the No. 9 pick, with Orlando holding the No. 15 selection and Miami sitting at No. 20.

We have more draft news:

  • Florida State guard Devin Vassell, ranked 11th by ESPN, has worked out for a handful of teams, Steve Popper of Newsday tweets. Vassell said he’s visited with the Knicks, Warriors, Celtics, Hawks and Magic. The presence of the Hawks (No. 6 pick) and Knicks (No. 8) suggest Vassell could go in the top 10. Golden State’s interest is intriguing, suggesting Vassell would be a target if the club trades down from the No. 2 pick.
  • French point guard Theo Maledon has worked out for three Atlantic Division clubs as well as the Spurs, Brian Lewis of the New York Post tweets. The Nets (19th pick), Celtics (three first-rounders) and Raptors (No. 29) have also taken a look at Maledon, who is rated 24th overall by ESPN.
  • As of Thursday, the Pelicans were the only team to host Tyrese Maxey, Rod Beard of the Detroit News tweets. The Kentucky shooting guard is 14th on ESPN’s list and New Orleans holds the 13th pick, so its interest late in the lottery makes sense.

Draft Rumors: Warriors, Vassell, Suns, Spurs, Mavs, More

The Warriors continue to actively discuss trades involving the No. 2 pick, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link), who writes within his latest mock draft that the Bulls, Pistons, and Knicks are among the candidates to make a deal with Golden State.

If the Warriors remain at No. 2, the team seems more likely to select Memphis center James Wiseman than Georgia guard Anthony Edwards, per Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. Wasserman has heard that there are some voices in Golden State’s front office against drafting Edwards, as well as mixed opinions within the front office on LaMelo Ball.

As Wasserman details, the Warriors have also expressed “legitimate” interest in sharpshooting wing Devin Vassell, but the assumption is that the club wouldn’t take the Florida State prospect at No. 2 — he’d be an option in a trade-down scenario. Wasserman adds that Vassell’s camp is confident he’ll go in the middle of the lottery and is unlikely to slip past the Kings at No. 12.

Here are a few more draft-related updates and rumors:

  • According to Givony, the Suns (No. 10) are “looking heavily” at point guards and wing players, especially prospects who can complement Devin Booker, while the Spurs (No. 11) are eyeing both big men and wings in the hopes of bolstering their frontcourt.
  • The Mavericks have expressed some interest in trading up into the lottery, league sources tell Jeremy Woo of SI.com. Dallas currently holds the 18th and 31st overall picks.
  • Teams with picks in the 20s aren’t expecting Precious Achiuwa to be available, according to Wasserman, who says the Memphis forward will likely be picked in the 9-18 range.
  • Multiple teams believe Arizona shooting guard Josh Green could slip a little, with some clubs viewing him as a “fringe first-rounder,” writes Wasserman.
  • Jaden McDaniels, Tyrell Terry, Daniel Oturu, Tyrese Maxey, and RJ Hampton are among the first-round candidates with the widest projected draft ranges, per Wasserman.

Givony’s Latest: Ball, Edwards, Hornets, Williams, More

Barring a surprise trade that shakes up the top of the draft, LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, and James Wiseman still look like the three players who will come off the board first on November 18, writes Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link). Givony, who has had conversations with multiple team executives, scouts, and agents, says most teams’ front offices are operating under the assumption that Ball will be the No. 1 pick.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether the Timberwolves will be the team making and keeping that top pick in the 2020 draft. According to Givony, executives view the Bulls, Pistons, and Thunder as some of the most realistic candidates to trade up to No. 1 for Ball. Oklahoma City has the No. 25 pick, which would make trading up more difficult, but the Thunder do have a massive collection of future first-rounders they could dangle if they’re genuinely interested in moving up.

Here are several more draft-related tidbits from Givony’s latest roundup:

  • According to Givony, some front offices were underwhelmed by Edwards’ Pro Day performance. Tyrese Maxey, who was in great shape and shot the ball very well, may have made Edwards look a little worse by comparison, some executives told ESPN.
  • Despite reports that they’re eyeing Onyeka Okongwu, the Hornets haven’t seriously considered picking any prospects outside the top tier of Ball, Wiseman, and Edwards, sources tell Givony.
  • After the top three, the next tier of prospects is made up of Deni Avdija, Obi Toppin, Isaac Okoro, Tyrese Haliburton, Patrick Williams, and Okongwu, according to Givony, who says those players all seem likely to be selected in the 4-9 range. Givony adds that Williams has boosted his stock in recent months and is receiving consideration as high as No. 4. Givony also confirms that the Pistons have legit interest in Williams at No. 7, which was previously reported.
  • Picks belonging to the Kings (No. 12), Celtics (14), Timberwolves (17), Mavericks (18), Nets (19), and Heat (20) have popped up frequently in recent trade talks, sources tell ESPN.
  • Upperclassmen like Malachi Flynn, Desmond Bane, Jordan Nwora, and Xavier Tillman are candidates to come off the board late in the first round, since contending teams with late first-round picks may be prioritizing “plug-and-play” prospects who will be best equipped to handle the quick turnaround between the draft and the start of the NBA season, says Givony.

Draft Notes: Avdija, Paul, Maxey, Bey

Deni Avdija is one of the few draft prospects who has played competitive basketball in the past seven months, writes Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports. The Israeli forward, who is considered a top five-pick by some draft analysts, elected to play for Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Winner League tournament in June and was named league MVP.

“There was a choice to either rest before the draft and just work out or play,” Avdija said. “Me, I’m competitive. I couldn’t leave my teammates and my coaches so I thought I needed to fight, and I wanted to win this championship to go off in a good and positive way.”

Avdija is already a fan favorite in Israel. He was only 16 when he signed with Maccabi in 2017, becoming the youngest player in team history. He was also part of the Israel junior national team that won the European Championships in 2018 and 2019. Avdija has been in Atlanta since August, working out with fellow European prospect Theo Maledon and waiting for his shot at the NBA.

“I hope to show teams how big of a competitor I am. How I love to win and how I’ll always challenge myself,” Avdija said. “I just want to show them it’s just me being me, playing my game, practicing as hard as I can, shooting the ball, rebounding, playmaking, things I usually do well and we’ll see how it goes.”

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Agent Rich Paul is responding to complaints about a televised Pro Day held this week for Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Maxey, according to Jack Baer of Yahoo Sports. Some rival agents claimed the event gave too much exposure to Paul’s clients. “When black it’s discredited, it’s critiqued, narratives are driven,” Paul wrote on Instagram. “It’s a shock when the black athlete isn’t making the black agent work for free, or feel as if it’s a privilege to represent them but instead respect their practice and expertise. Why?”
  • Maxey showed off a revamped jump shot during his 20-minute session, observes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Using a higher release point than he did at Kentucky, Maxey drilled five straight three-pointers in his workout. “I was able to show I can knock down my outside shot consistently — catch-and-shoot, off the move — and I was able to show my conditioning because nobody has seen me because of COVID-19,’’ he said.
  • Colorado’s Tyler Bey set an NBA combine record for forwards with a 43.5-inch max vertical leap, tweets Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. Bey is No. 28 on ESPN’s list of the top 100 draft prospects.

Draft Notes: Ball, Edwards, Maxey, Yurtseven, More

LaMelo Ball, a candidate to be the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, reportedly met virtually with New York and Golden State earlier in the year and had an in-person visit with the Timberwolves this week. He’s also expected to meet with the Hornets, Bulls, and Warriors (again) next week.

While Ball has been getting familiar with the teams at the very top of the draft, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer said during an appearance on Sports Radio WFNZ this week that he has heard from multiple sources that Ball “is not performing very well at job interviews.”

“He is not improving his perception via job interview,” Bonnell said, per Dan Feldman of NBC Sports. “There are people drafting later in the top ten who were not preparing for the possibility of Ball still being around. And I’m not saying that he will not be a top-three pick. I am saying that I know for a fact that there are teams later in the top ten who are doing more research on him, because they no longer think it’s a given he will.”

With the 2020 NBA draft less than three weeks away, we’re knee-deep in smokescreen season, so it’s difficult to know how seriously to take reports like these. Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic dug into the “art of subterfuge” in a new article, noting that the Timberwolves and Warriors – both of whom are said to be interested in trading down – are taking different approaches during the pre-draft process.

While Golden State has been rumored to have real interest in over a half-dozen prospects, Minnesota has been very tight-lipped about the No. 1 pick. In each case, teams that might be interested in trading up haven’t been able to get a clear sense of whether or not the Wolves or Warriors will take the player they want.

Here’s more on the draft:

  • NBA scouts and executives weren’t allowed to be in the gym for the televised Pro Day for Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Maxey on Thursday, as Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. A source tells Berman that some agents were unhappy with the setup, feeling as if it was “unwarranted exposure” for Rich Paul‘s clients. The Knicks were among the teams watching the event on TV, Berman adds.
  • Former Georgetown big man Omer Yurtseven has had virtual meetings with 19 teams, he told Keith Smith of RealGM. However, he’s disappointed he hasn’t got a chance to conduct in-person workouts for all those clubs. “It’s been tough to not be able to work out directly for teams,” Yurtseven said. “I’ve spent a lot of time working on my lateral quickness. I know I needed to be quicker to play in the NBA. I worked on that a lot and can’t wait to show teams.”
  • Eamonn Brennan of The Athletic identifies five prospects he thinks are sleepers in the 2020 draft, including Kansas center Udoka Azubuike, Michigan State guard Cassius Winston, and Charleston guard Grant Riller.

ESPN2 To Televise Edwards, Maxey Pre-Draft Workouts

Georgia swingman Anthony Edwards and Kentucky point guard Tyrese Maxey, two 2020 first-round prospects represented by Klutch Sports, are set to go through a televised “Pro Day” workout on ESPN 2 at 8:00 pm EST this evening, per Anna Negron of ESPN. The 2020 NBA draft is currently scheduled to be conducted virtually at 7:00 pm on November 18.

The athletic 6’5″ Edwards, who worked out for the Warriors last week, is widely considered to be one of the top three picks in November. The 6’3″ Maxey, a solid shooter, is projected to be taken with the No. 20 pick by the Heat in the latest mock draft from The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie.

Maxey and Edwards, both 2020 Second-Team All-SEC team selections, will work out at the Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California. The workout will be broadcast replete with commentary, courtesy of Jay Bilas, Dalen Cuff and Mike Schmitz.

Heat Rumors: Oladipo, Flynn, Jones, Coaching Staff

Victor Oladipo likes playing for the Pacers and would be happy to stay in Indiana on a big new contract, but if he changes teams, the Heat are expected to be atop his wish list, a source tells Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

This is hardly the first time Oladipo has been linked to Miami — a series of summer reports indicated that the Heat would likely be a threat to sign the two-time All-Star away from Indiana in 2021, and there has been ongoing chatter since then. Still, it’ll be interesting to see how Miami’s Finals run this season and Oladipo’s shaky 2019/20 post-injury play impact the Heat’s desire to aggressively pursue the Pacers guard.

For now, Giannis Antetokounmpo remains the Heat’s top target among 2021 free-agents-to-be, according to Jackson, who provides an extensive breakdown of other impact players – including Oladipo – the team could target if Giannis is unavailable.

Here are a few more notes on the Heat:

  • The Heat recently interviewed former San Diego State point guard Malachi Flynn, Jackson writes in another story for The Miami Herald. Flynn, the No. 31 prospect on ESPN’s big board, could be an option for Miami at No. 20. He’s a hard worker who would fit in with the Heat’s culture, according to Jackson, who says one NBA evaluator compared the young guard to Fred VanVleet and believes he’s NBA-ready.
  • The Heat have also scheduled an interview with Duke guard Tre Jones, who is considered a possible first-round pick, Jackson writes for The Herald. Within the story, Jackson says that Kira Lewis and Tyrese Maxey would receive strong consideration from the Heat if they’re still on the board at No. 20.
  • In yet another Herald article, Jackson and Anthony Chiang consider possible replacements on the coaching staff for Dan Craig, who is leaving for a job with the Clippers. Anthony Carter, Eric Glass, and Phil Weber are identified as possibilities by the Herald duo.

Eastern Notes: Raptors’ Home, Hornets, Hayes, Maxey

Despite travel restriction and protocols due to the pandemic, the Raptors remain hopeful they’ll play in Toronto next season, Josh Lewenberg of TSN tweets. The organization has discussed several contingency options but it is not interested in moving games to Louisville, refuting a report earlier this week.

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The league’s Board of Governors is pondering a Christmas-time start to next season and that could benefit the Hornets, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. The free agency period would be sped up and Charlotte, which will be significantly below the cap, could make bargain signings and acquire future assets while providing trade partners relief by taking on cumbersome contracts. The Hornets, who weren’t invited to the restart, would also like to get next season started sooner rather than later, Bonnell adds.
  • Killian Hayes might be a great fit for the Pistons with their lottery pick, Matt Babcock of BabcockHoops.com tells Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press. The overseas prospect is ranked No. 9 by ESPN and Detroit has the No. 7 pick but Hayes would fill a need at the point. “I think he’s a guy that could end up being sort of a lead playmaker, primary ball-handler and somewhat of a dynamic player,” Babcock told Sankofa.
  • The Sixers own the No. 21 pick and Kentucky combo guard Tyrese Maxey could develop into a rotation player if he slips to that spot, according to Derek Bodner of The Athletic. Maxey projects as a jack-of-all-trades type of player but needs to develop his shot to be a factor. The shooting guard is currently ranked No. 15 by ESPN.