How important will Tyrese Maxey be for Sixers amid James Harden saga?

As the Philadelphia 76ers move forward with the 2023-24 season, training camp continues to approach. The Sixers have a big question to answer in the form of James Harden.

Obviously, Harden wants out and the Sixers will have to find a way to either accommodate his trade request or get him to change his mind and stay in Philly.

However, if he does get traded, which it looks like that will be the case, how important is young Tyrese Maxey? ESPN’s Zach Lowe put it like this in “The Lowe Post” podcast:

I’m just super interested to see how Maxey looks as the undisputed No. 2 guy, because the way he played when Harden was on the floor vs. off the floor, I don’t know how many perimeter players had such diametrically opposed roles and styles based on other personnel on your team, who are on the floor. I would love to see him with more of a ball-handling load. I think he can do it and thrive in it. His shooting is proven to me off the dribble, off the catch. He does not fear big games at all. Now, he wilted against the Celtics and their size here and there, but he seemed to even get by that in parts of that series. I think he will be very interesting. and boy, if the Harden thing goes sideways, they’re going to need a massive Tyrese Maxey season to stay where they are, or even near where they are, in the pecking order.

The Sixers will certainly be looking to Maxey to take a huge leap forward in the coming season. He averaged 20.3 points and shot 43.4% from deep in the 2022-23 season, and they will now be looking to him to do more amid the Harden saga. If Harden is not there, then Maxey will have to revert back to what he did at the beginning of the 2021-22 season when he and the Sixers were dealing with the Ben Simmons situation. His strong play during that time allowed Philadelphia to remain patient and wait for the right deal to come along.

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire