The Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly looking to move James Harden, but that doesn’t mean they’ll just give him up for spare parts.
Daryl Morey is known for being aggressive when he’s pursuing a player, but he’s also quite stubborn and hard-headed when it comes to giving up one of his assets.
That’s why it’s not a surprise to see Brian Windhorst state that the Sixers have reportedly deemed Tyrese Maxey untradeable, not even for primer Michael Jordan, 25-year-old LeBron James, or Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Windhorst said on The Hoops Collective (via NBA Central) that Morey and the Sixers won’t even entertain the thought of moving Maxey, not even for Damian Lillard — who’s currently available for trade.
The Sixers are telling teams that Tyrese Maxey is untouchable, per @WindhorstESPN
"Prime Michael Jordan is available? Don’t call. 25-year-old LeBron James is available? Lose our number. Giannis Antetokounmpo says, ‘I want to be a Sixer.’ If Tyrese Maxey is the ask, just keep… pic.twitter.com/Y6KsbwmbOa
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) July 3, 2023
Ironically, the Sixers aren’t likely to sign the Kentucky product to a contract extension now, so it’s hard to tell why they’re so keen on keeping him at the moment.
Maxey obviously has a high ceiling as a scorer and playmaker, and he’ll have a more prominent role on the team once Harden leaves — barring they trade for Lillard.
But you have to be smart about your assets, especially when a superstar suddenly becomes available, which doesn’t happen very often.
Swapping Maxey for Lillard would likely put the Sixers over the edge, and it’s not like their championship window with Joel Embiid will stay open for the next decade or so.
But Morey has a long history of playing hardball, even if that leads to failure, so don’t expect him to change his mind about Maxey anytime soon.