NBA Players of the Week, Week 1: Nikola Jokic and Tyrese Maxey

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic and Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey were named the NBA Western and Eastern Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for Week 1 of the 2023-24 season (Oct. 24-29).

Other nominees:

West: Stephen Curry (GSW), Anthony Davis (LAL), Luka Dončić (DAL), Kevin Durant (PHX), De’Aaron Fox (SAC), Paul George (LAC), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC) and Zion Williamson (NOP)

East: Jalen Duren (DET), Joel Embiid (PHI), Tyrese Haliburton and Aaron Nesmith (IND), Donovan Mitchell (CLE), Kristaps Porzingis (BOS) and Franz Wagner (ORL)

Sixers exercise contract options on Tyrese Maxey and Jaden Springer

The Philadelphia 76ers have exercised the fourth-year contract option for Tyrese Maxey and the third-year contract option for Jaden Springer, both set to take effect for the 2023-24 season.

Maxey, now in his third professional season, holds career averages of 13.7 points (.480 FG, .403 3FG), 2.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 26.9 minutes in 143 games (89 starts). The Texas native played in 75 games (74 starts) in his second NBA season in 2021-22, upping his scoring average from 8.0 to 17.5 while shooting .485 from the floor. His points-per-game increase ranked as the largest among second-year players last season, while his .427 mark from three-point range was third in the NBA. A 2022 Rising Stars selection, Maxey reached the 20-point mark on 25 occasions, including five games of 30-plus points.

Originally selected by the 76ers with the No. 21 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Maxey, 21, has averaged 22.6 points on .504 shooting (.468 3FG), 3.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.1 steals in seven games (all starts) this season. He set career highs in both points (44) and three-point field goals (nine) at Toronto on Oct. 28, becoming just the second player in 76ers franchise history to tally 40-plus points prior to the age of 22 (Iverson, five times).

Springer, 20, has tallied seven points on 3-of-4 shooting in four career appearances for the 76ers. The No. 28 overall selection of the 2021 NBA Draft has competed in 19 career G League games (18 starts) for the Delaware Blue Coats, averaging 14.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals in 26.8 minutes per contest. Springer helped lead Delaware to its second consecutive appearance in the G League Finals.

Named to the 2021-22 Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team during his lone collegiate season at Tennessee, Springer led the Volunteers in scoring (12.5 ppg), three-point percentage (.435 3FG), and free throws made (81). His .810 free throw percentage ranked ninth in the SEC and represents the highest-ever mark by a Tennessee freshman with at least 100 attempts.

Sixers exercise contract options for Matisse Thybulle and Tyrese Maxey

The Philadelphia 76ers have exercised the fourth-year contract option for Matisse Thybulle and the third-year contract option for Tyrese Maxey, both set to take effect for the 2022-23 season.

Thybulle, who is in his third NBA season, was selected by Boston with the No. 20 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft before Philadelphia acquired his rights in a trade. For his career, Thybulle has appeared in 135 games (22 starts), tallying 4.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 19.9 minutes per game. Thybulle’s 209 career steals rank sixth in the NBA since his rookie season. Over his two-plus NBA seasons, Thybulle has 31 games with at least three steals, a mark that is tied for the third-most in the league during that span. Last season, he was the only player in the NBA to have at least 100 steals and 70 blocks in less than 1,300 minutes played.

A four-year player out of the University of Washington in his home state, Thybulle capped his collegiate career by securing the 2019 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award and earning his second consecutive Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honor. He tallied 331 total steals in his four seasons with the Huskies, breaking the Pac-12 record previously held by Hall of Famer Gary Payton.

Maxey, now in his second season, holds career averages of 8.5 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 16.7 minutes per contest in 63 games (13 starts). Maxey posted a career-high 39 points, along with seven rebounds and eight assists against Denver last season. At the time, Maxey was the first rookie since 2019 to post a 35-5-5 performance in a single game and became just the second 76er rookie to post such numbers in a game.

The 76ers selected Maxey with the No. 21 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft from the University of Kentucky where he appeared in 31 games (28 starts) and tallied 14.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists in a team-high 34.5 minutes per contest. During his lone collegiate season, he held shooting percentages of .427 from the field and .833 from the free-throw line. These numbers led to Maxey being named to the 2019-20 All-SEC Second Team as well as the SEC All-Freshman Team.

Tyrese Maxey gave Sixers a big boost in Game 6 against Hawks

The Sixers won Game 6 on the road against the Hawks Friday, 104-99. The squad received a nice boost off the bench from Tyrese Maxey, who in 29 minutes put up 16 points and seven rebounds. Via the Philly Voice:

Picture this: you’re a 20-year-old rookie, you played just 1:20 in your team’s heartbreaking Game 5 loss, and your head coach comes to you and says you need to be ready to play real minutes in a do-or-die elimination game. How exactly do you handle the news and get ready for the biggest game of your life?

“Got done with shootaround, got me some pasta, called my mom, and then I went to sleep,” Maxey said after Philly’s Game 6 win. “Woke up, and then came to the gym. Was ready to go.”

If the pressure impacted him in any way, Maxey never showed it on Friday night, pouring in 16 points off of the bench and leading the entire team in plus/minus with a +12 for the evening. That was representative of how the game changed with Maxey on the floor, who provided the spark his teammates needed with a belly full of pasta and a mother’s wisdom as the fuel.

Hawks at Sixers Game 7 is Sunday at 8PM ET.

Kentucky guard Tyrese Maxey entering 2020 NBA draft

The Kentucky Wildcats continue their long tradition of producing NBA prospects. Here’s the Courier-Journal with the latest:

Kentucky’s run of one-and-done players will continue.

Freshman guard Tyrese Maxey has declared for the NBA draft as expected, becoming the 26th player to enter the draft after just one season in John Calipari’s 11 seasons as Kentucky’s coach. Kentucky has had at least one one-and-done player in each of those seasons.

ESPN projects Maxey as the No. 6 pick in its most recent 2020 mock draft…

The SEC All-Freshman Team honoree finished the year averaging 14 points and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 29.2% from 3-point range.

The 2020 draft is scheduled for Thursday June 25, though with the coronavirus pandemic affecting the entire planet, all scheduled dates for pretty much anything, in or out of sports, should be considered subject to change.