"Big role; With Ben, or without" - Doc Rivers upbeat about Tyrese Maxey stepping up regardless of Ben Simmons' situation in the 2021-22 NBA season

Could Tyrese Maxey be the new man in charge in Philadelphia?
Could Tyrese Maxey be the new man in charge in Philadelphia?
Tyler Rucker

As Media Day arrived for the Philadelphia 76ers today, many expected that Ben Simmons would be the most popular topic of discussion. While a variety of players and coaches took turns discussing Simmons and his future with the team, another player - Tyrese Maxey - quickly came up in the conversation. That led to an intriguing comment from Sixers head coach Doc Rivers.

"Big role. With Ben, or without. Either one," Doc Rivers said.
Doc Rivers on what he might do at point guard if Simmons isn't around: "I don't think that's hard... The second unit is the biggest issue for me because that takes us down one point guard."On Tyrese Maxey? "Big role. With Ben, or without. Either one."

Last year, the Philadelphia 76ers selected Tyrese Maxey with the 21st pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. It was a bit of a surprise, as many thought Maxey was a player who could have gone much earlier in the draft. He showed some flashes of brilliance during his rookie year and was one of the top players to keep an eye on at Summer League this year.

He didn't disappoint as he went on to average 26.0 points per game, along with 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.0 steals in Las Vegas. The Sixers saw all they needed from Maxey in Las Vegas and decided to shut him down after just two games to make sure he didn't suffer any potential injuries. With the Sixers needing someone to step up and take Ben Simmons' place if he is eventually traded, it looks as if Tyrese Maxey is the frontrunner to become the team's starting point guard.

Doc Rivers on Tyrese Maxey: "I'm telling you, that kid works. ... He just has all the ingredients, in my opinion, to turn out to be a heck of a basketball player."

It's something that Sixers fans were hoping would develop quickly. Maxey offers some serious upside on both sides of the ball. He gives the Sixers a dangerous outside shooting weapon that could create a new identity offensively for the team.

At 6'2", Maxey is a bit smaller for a modern-day point guard but he makes up for it with his competitive nature and freakish length. He has a reported 6'7.75" wingspan.

Maxey also has the ability to play both guard positions. If he can continue to develop consistently as an outside threat, he could become a player who takes a massive leap forward in his development this year. Some of the veterans for the Philadelphia 76ers also believe that Maxey has the potential to become a serious player for this organization.

Danny Green on Tyrese Maxey, likely the team's starting point guard if Simmons doesn't return: "He carries himself like a star. I believe one day he will be a star."

The mood around Media day was expected when it came to Ben Simmons. Many of the key players on the Sixers roster expressed that they would love to have Simmons back, but they understood that he had stated he would not report to training camp.

Tobias Harris went on to state:

"...I don't think he's coming through that door. So we have to keep pushing on."

Head coach Doc Rivers and GM Daryl Morey even expressed that they would love to have Simmons back, but that simply could be the two taking the professional route when it comes to keeping the door open if Simmons were to change his mind.

31 points 6 rebounds 5 assists@TyreseMaxey is in his element.

As the training camp begins this week, and the beginning of the NBA season inches closer, the elephant in the room for the Philadelphia 76ers will continue to get bigger until there's a resolution. For now, the Sixers look ready to potentially hand the keys over to one of their rising "stars" in the organization. For Sixers fans, the hope is that Tyrese Maxey is ready to take control of the team moving forward.

Edited by Prem Deshpande
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