The Shooting Guard out of Kentucky has officially declared for the NBA draft. The 19-year-old has declared after just one year in the NCAA. Maxey is estimated to be a late lottery pick who would be a nice rotational player to help any of those teams push into the playoffs next season.
In his one season at Kentucky, Maxey averaged 14.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists. Offensively, he is one of the better all-around prospects in the league. Like most rookies, he struggles with consistency and defense. He shoots just 29.2% from deep which won’t cut it in the NBA if he wants to be more than a rotational player. He also averages just 0.9 steals and 0.4 blocks. These are common negatives for rookies to have, especially rookies that played just one year in college so none of these are deal-breakers.
Maxey has plenty of upside too. He is an excellent inside scorer, shooting 49.2% on two-pointers. He is also a solid playmaker for a Shooting Guard, meaning that he should be able to play some Point Guard when he goes to the next level.
Several teams could use the young man’s services. The top team that comes to mind is the Portland Trail Blazers. With Wiseman, Okongwu, and Toppin all likely to be taken by the time the Trail Blazers would draft, it is more than likely they will look for more front-court depth in free agency. It’s not just front-court depth they struggle with, their backup back-court behind Lillard and McCollum is quite underwhelming. Both Anfernee Simons and Gary Trent Jr are solid players, but they could definitely use an upgrade at one of those spots. Maxey could replace one of them (likely Simons) and be a key piece off the bench for a team that still has playoff aspirations.
Another team that could make use of his services is the Sacramento Kings. With Bogdanovic about to hit restricted free agency and Buddy Hield becoming increasingly aggravated with the team, it’s possible they may lose both of them. They will likely hold onto Bogdanovic but trading Hield appears more and more imminent with each passing day. Maxey would just slip right into Hield’s role as a key player off the bench without skipping a beat. The only difference would be the new assets the Kings get in return.
Maxey has a lot of potential to be a good player in the NBA. It’s doubtful he’ll become an All-Star, but he will be a good rotational player, and possibly even a starter if he can achieve his full capabilities. Maxey is going to be a fun player to watch in the coming years.