Aside from the Patrick Beverley signing (which I like a lot at the veteran minimum, but I digress), the Philadelphia 76ers during this NBA free agency period have been the equivalent of the meme where the stick figure is poking at an object asking it to do something. One of the more significant moves the team made during the last week was its decision not to offer Tyrese Maxey a contract extension this summer.
While the decision makes perfect sense from a team-building perspective to maintain cap flexibility for next summer, it can’t make Maxey feel all warm and fuzzy to see draft contemporaries like Tyrese Haliburton and Desmond Bane secure the bag. Imagine you’re Tyrese trying to be a team player and see this while scrolling on Instagram.
Matters weren’t helped when Brian Windhorst hinted that Maxey was on the trade block in a push for Damian Lillard.
-“wanna know why [they’re not extending Maxey this summer]? Because they might trade him. And it’s because he would be a potential piece in a Dame Lillard trade.”— DaveEarly (@DavidEarly) June 30, 2023
- Windhorst (full sentence there)
Since then, a top priority for the Sixers has apparently been Public Relations damage control. They want Tyrese to know he’s still a beloved member of the Sixers family. Hang tight for a year and you’ll get your big payday next summer. So Philadelphia has been on the phones non-stop making sure everyone knows Tyrese Maxey is not available, per Windhorst on the Hoop Collective podcast.
"Prime Michael Jordan is available? Don't call. 25-year-old LeBron James is available? Lose our number. Giannis Antetokounmpo says, 'I want to be a Sixer.' If Tyrese Maxey is the ask, just keep walking."— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) July 3, 2023
Brian Windhorst on the Hoop Collectivepic.twitter.com/dIbIWRUaoz
I don’t know, Prime Michael Jordan? I watched both The Last Dance and Air — might want to rethink that one. Obviously, this is some massive hyperbole from Windhorst, but the point is, the Sixers want Maxey to know he’s still their guy. Honestly, it’s how I feel when people come at me with trade machine scenarios involving Maxey. Keep walking, folks.
There was one other relevant portion of the Hoop Collective podcast regarding the Sixers:
“They have not shown an interest in trading Tobias Harris. Tobias Harris has been involved in some trade discussions, and they have not shown an interest in trading him. And if anybody does want to trade for him, it’s been made known that it would only be for expiring contracts.”
The expiring contracts bit is interesting and jives with what rumors we’ve heard in the James Harden trade discussions. It seems like Daryl Morey is laser-focused on maintaining cap flexibility next summer. The Harden talks, calls about Harris, the Maxey non-extension decision — it all adds up to Morey looking to make his big splash in 2024. So I guess hang tight for one more year of disappointment, Sixers fans.