Any exposure is good exposure, right? In Tyrese Maxey’s situation, it most certainly.
The former Kentucky Wildcat and NBA Draft lottery hopeful made his return to national television on Thursday night when he participated in a Pro Day event organized by his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. The hour-long ESPN2 production put on display the offseason work that’s been put in by Maxey and fellow Paul client, Anthony Edwards, a Georgia one-and-done prospect who most expect to go among the top-3 overall in the upcoming draft.
Maxey put on quite an impressive show, even if it was in a near-empty gym without defenders. However, with LeBron James, Draymond Green, Trae Young, and Anthony Davis watching from the sidelines–also clients of Paul–the pressure was definitely there. Throughout several shooting and dribble drills, Maxey was able to showcase his tweaked shooting form that had NBA franchises questioning his range going forward, and later said that he’s been able to improve his play off the dribble while getting in better shape, as well.
Most mock drafts have Maxey going anywhere from the No. 10 pick to the No. 20 pick once the Nov. 18 NBA Draft date finally arrives. His stock has seemingly taken a slight dip over the last several months despite the inability to workout in front of teams, so this gave him a chance to work his way back up in the pecking order.
Calipari said during the show and again afterwards on Twitter that teams will regret passing up on Maxey the same way others did with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jamal Murray, and Tyler Herro.
Teams passed on Jamal and @shaiglalex…they won’t want to do that with Tyrese!
He’s another one #BuiltDifferent!
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) October 30, 2020
The New York Knicks (No. 8 pick in 2020 Draft) and Miami Heat (No. 20) are viewed as likely destinations for Maxey, even if they fall out of his projected landing area. The Kenny Payne connection along with Kevin Knox and Julius Randle in New York is obvious, and there have been rumblings that the Knicks are trying to market themselves as a “Kentucky-pipeline” as the Wildcat effect continues to take over the league. Then you have Miami, who recently went to the NBA Finals behind the play of two incredible former Wildcats (Bam Adebayo and Herro) and are ran at the top by another one-time ‘Cat, Pat Riley.
The announcement of the event was a surprise to the NBA world, even to the point that other NBA agents were reportedly upset that Paul organized this secluded exhibition for his two rising clients, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. But hey, that’s why Maxey signed with Paul in the first place; he consistently puts his clients in advantageous positions, even if no one knew you were allowed to do so.
In a COVID-19 world where you can’t bring a workout to NBA teams, you create one the teams can attend themselves. Credit to Paul for pulling this off and credit to Maxey for shining under the bright lights.
Check out his highlights.