LAS VEGAS — Tyrese Maxey’s mindset is to get 1% better each time he steps on the basketball court.
So when asked what he’s most looking forward to about competing in the NBA Summer League at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the 76ers’ 20-year-old point guard’s response was expected.
“I think the biggest thing I’m looking forward to right now is getting better,” Maxey said Wednesday after the Sixers’ first Summer League training camp practice. “Helping this team get better and helping myself get better.”
Maxey, the Sixers’ first-round pick last year, focused on passing the ball during Wednesday’s scrimmage. The right-handed player utilized left-handed passes and different reads coming off pick-and-rolls.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder knows he can score on the NBA level. He had a career-high 39 points against the Denver Nuggets on Jan. 9. Then Maxey finished with 30 points in the regular-season finale against the Orlando Magic on April 16.
“Now, I’m trying to up my passing and get others involved,” said Maxey, who averaged 8 points, 2assists and 15.3 minutes in 61 games, including eight starts. “As long as I can do that, it opens myself up as well.”
A tireless worker, the Garland, Texas, native stayed out of the gym for just four days after the Sixers’ season concluded on June 20 with a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Maxey was told he came back too soon and to take more time off.
So he compromised ... kind of.
“What I do is I try to go really stupid hard during the week, get multiple workouts in a day,” he said. “Then Saturday and Sunday, I try to take off and hit it back, again.”
A couple of weeks ago, Maxey worked out three times a day, Monday through Friday. After those 15 workouts, he felt good about taking the weekend off.
The goal is to become a better-rounded point guard. That’s why he’s focused on being more vocal in addition to his passing and coverage reads.
Following Thursday night’s draft, Sixers president of basketball operation Daryl Morey raved about Maxey.
“Because Maxey showed us so much in Year 1, now you can use your free-agent dollars in other places and give him a real shot,” Morey said.
But last season, Maxey’s name kept coming up in potential trade packages to acquire an elite player.
“I had to block it out,” he said of the chatter. “I stopped really paying attention to it. You have to pay attention to the task at hand. This is a job. This is a business. At the end of the day, whatever happens, happens.
“You have to keep your mind on track and go out there and compete for your team and do what’s in your job description.”
That’s what Maxey did then and what he’ll continue to do this summer while working to improve his all-around game.