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December 28, 2023

By the numbers: Tyrese Maxey should be a lock for the NBA All-Star Game

Tyrese Maxey is putting up incredible numbers in his age-23 season. Our stat roundup puts it all in perspective.

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Tyrese-Maxey-Sixers-All-Star Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports

All-Star guard Tyrese Maxey.

After picking up a win on Wednesday night with Joel Embiid sidelined, the Sixers improved to 21-9 – putting them on a 57-win pace. Tyrese Maxey dropped 23 points while shooting 50 percent from the field and 50 percent from deep (six attempts). He's blossoming as the Robin to Embiid's Batman when they share the court and keeps things afloat while he sits. He needs to be an All-Star this season.

Maxey is averaging a shade under 26 points per game this season while posting a career-high in assists at 6.6 per night, a huge development as the Sixers' go-to lead guard now with James Harden playing elsewhere. He's attempting a career-high 8.2 threes per game and he should probably shoot even more, knocking them down at a rate of 39.3 percent. That comes on the heels of shooting a wild 43.4 percent on threes last season, too.

Let's put Maxey's season in perspective. Using the essential Stathead tool on Basketball Reference, here are some nuggets and numbers that showcase Maxey's All-Star candidacy and evolution at age 23...

Maxey is one of only three players to score at least 25.8 points per game, record 6.6 assists per game and post a true shooting percentage of 59.2 percent. The others are Nikola Jokić, and Luka Dončić. Dončić was a First-Team All-NBA selection last year. Jokić, of course, is a two-time regular season MVP and the reigning Finals MVP.

If we shorten those parameters for players just 23 and younger, Maxey is only one of three players to do that in NBA history, joining Dončić (age 23, 2023) and Trae Young twice (age 21; 2020; age 23, 2022).

Looking at efficient scoring in Sixers history specifically, Maxey's points per game and true shooting percentage numbers have been matched just eight other times for the franchise. Joel Embiid has done it five times, including this season. Charles Barkley, whose offensive stats during his Sixers career are way underrated in the all-time NBA hierarchy, did it three times as well.

In terms of Maxey's three-point shooting stroke, as said above, he's making 3.93 percent of his threes while attempting 8.2 per night. Maxey currently doing that is one of 20 instances in NBA history. In the 2024 season alone, Stephen Curry, De'Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Paul George and 2021 Sixers playoff villain Bogdan Bogdanović have also done that. Cutting it down to players who've done it at age 23 or younger, the list becomes only Maxey and Haliburton. Those two dudes should be the two starting guards for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game.

On the counting stats leaderboard for the 2024 campaign, Maxey stands tall. He's 13th in points per game and 14th in assists per game. Only Young, Jokić and Dončić are players jointly ahead of Maxey on both. Maxey is seventh in Win Shares too, out-pacing players like Haliburton, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, James Harden, Jayson Tatum and many, many more.

The 2024 All-Star Game is in Indiana. Maxey should be there and be in the Three-Point Contest. 

My early call for Eastern Conference starters: Maxey, Haliburton, Embiid, Tatum and Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

Anything less for Maxey is a disservice. 

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