Throughout the season, Tyrese Maxey has been looked at as Kentucky’s only lottery talent.
Players like Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley, and Nick Richards have flirted with a first-round prediction, but Maxey is the only one to remain consistently in the first-round and has even been predicted as a top-five pick by some experts.
Well, with the way the season ended, along with the fact that teams can’t work out these prospects, things are starting to look a little shaky for Maxey.
Currently, NBC Sports has Maxey listed at No. 9 in their newest NBA Mock Draft, while ESPN has him at No. 12, Tankathon has him at No. 13, Bleacher Report has him at No. 15, SLAM has him at No. 16, and NBA Draft Room has him falling all the way to No. 24, reported by KSR.
Needless to say, Maxey’s range is wider than most people think - but why? Sam Vecenie of the Athletic took a deeper dive into why Maxey’s stock is so volatile.
“Largely, it has to do with how you evaluate his jump shot. Maxey made shots at lower levels. Despite being clearly the top of the priority list for every team he played in AAU and in high school — and taking a ton of pull-up 3s in the process — Maxey hit 35 percent of his career high school 3s, 33 percent of his 3s in his final year of AAU, and was consistently up over 80 percent from the foul line.”
The NBA game is focused on two things on the offensive side of the ball: making 3 point shots and being able to finish inside off the pick and roll.
Luckily, one of Maxey’s pillars in his game is his floater. Unfortunately, one of his big marks against him is his 3-point shooting.
While Maxey did struggle in hitting threes consistently, it should be noted that when the cameras were at his brightest, he shined from beyond the arc and in the paint.
“Look, I’m admittedly a fan of Maxey,” Vecenie said, calling his shooting struggles an “aberration” and highlighting his strong work ethic and intelligence. “… But he’s genuinely all over the place for evaluators on the team side. Some love him for the same reasons I do and think he’s in the vicinity of being a top-10 guy. Others just don’t buy into the shot as much, and that, mixed with the questionable athletic burst, is hard for them to get past. I’ve even talked to evaluators who have him outside of the top-20. Based off the feedback I’ve gotten, I’d say his draft range is … 10-20 or so.”
If we’re gonna see Maxey inside that top 10 on draft night, he and Calipari are going to have to do some serious convincing over the next few months leading to the draft.