Tyrese Maxey is quickly becoming the superstar Philadelpiha 76ers needed

Philadelphia 76ers Tyrese Maxey (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia 76ers Tyrese Maxey (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Philadelphia 76ers Tyrese Maxey
Philadelphia 76ers Tyrese Maxey(John Jones-USA TODAY Sports) /

Tyrese Maxey is an awesome shot-creator for both himself and his teammates

While Tyrese Maxey’s improvement as a scorer has been remarkable, his growth as a passer has been arguably even more impressive.

Before this season, he had yet to record an assist rate of 20% or higher in a single season. This year, however, his assist rate sits at 27.6%, about 9% higher than it was last year. You might think this uptick in his assist numbers has something to do with his usage on offense, but his usage rate is virtually the same as it was a year ago. He’s just way better as a passer now.

To make this even more impressive, he is doing a wonderful job of limiting turnovers. His turnover rate is currently just 6.4%, which would be by far the best mark of his entire career. High-volume passers usually have a lot of turnovers, but that has not been the case for Maxey this year.

To be fair, raw assists aren’t the best measure of a player’s passing ability, so let’s look at some other passing metrics.

A big reason why assists are an imperfect measure of a player’s passing ability is because to get credit for an assist, your teammate must make a shot after you pass to them. It doesn’t matter that you made the best pass of your life. If your teammate blows the wide-open shot you just handed to them on a silver platter, you won’t get credit for it in the box score.

Let’s take a look at potential assists. This gives players credit for passes that lead to a “possession event” which includes a shot, foul, or turnover. This year, Maxey is averaging 11.3 potential assists per game. This isn’t an elite mark, but it’s still pretty good and matches up with other strong passers like LeBron James, James Harden, and Darius Garland.

It’s also useful to look at passer rating. No, not the quarterback stat. I’m talking about the metric created by Ben Taylor of “Thinking Basketball” which uses several metrics to measure how good a player’s passing ability is on a scale of 1-10, with five being average.

It’s important to know that this stat is an efficiency metric, not a cumulative one. This means that it won’t give players credit for simply making a lot of passes and generating a lot of assists. Instead, it measures a player’s ability to generate high-value shots for their teammates at a high rate.

Maxey’s passer rating this season is 7.5, which is very good, especially considering his role as a primary ball handler. In fact, he has a higher passer rating than Luka Doncic, one of the best passers in the world.

Overall, Tyrese Maxey is not quite an elite passer like his fellow Tyrese, Tyrese Haliburton. However, he has developed into one of the better playmakers in the entire league. If he can continue to grow in this area, he could be one of the best offensive players on the planet.