PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers are adding to their backcourt in the draft. The Sixers took Tyrese Maxey, a freshman combo guard from the Kentucky Wildcats, with the 21st pick overall in the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday night.

Maxey, who was second-team All SEC, averaged 14 points, four rebounds and three assists per game in his only season at Kentucky.

“I just want to show them that I can compete. I trust myself, I put the work in, I’m so excited and I’m so thankful,” Maxey told ESPN right after being drafted.

Maxey is a good scorer in the paint, can get buckets, but needs to work on his three-point shot. He turned 20 two weeks ago.

New head coach Doc Rivers told ESPN he was “very happy” with the Maxey pick, and called the new Sixer “competitive” and “tough.”

CBS Sports broke down Maxey’s strengths and weaknesses heading into tonight’s draft.

STRENGTHS

  • Competitive guard who loves to get to the rim and can finish in myriad ways
  • Good shooting stroke and good touch around the basket, with a killer floater package
  • Elite on ball defender with great defensive instincts and long, wiry arms that disrupts the point of attack

WEAKNESSES

  • Struggled to shoot consistently from 3-point range, 29.2% from 3 at Kentucky
  • Quick with the ball in his hands but struggles to carve space out; may need to play in a backcourt alongside an initiator as opposed to operating as a lead guard
  • Tabbed as a point guard but his lack of space-creation and average vision may pigeon-hole him into a two-guard role — which he may struggle with if his shot doesn’t improve

Earlier in the night, the Sixers traded Al Horford, the rights to European point guard Vasilije Micic and draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Danny Green and Terrance Ferguson, according to multiple reports.

The 76ers traded Horford more than a year after he was considered a ballyhooed free-agent signing away for their rival Boston Celtics. Horford was a flop in the first season of a four-year contract worth $97 million and lost his starting spot late in the season. The Thunder are the on hook for Horford’s $27.5 million this season. He averaged 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in his lone season with the Sixers. He never fit in playing alongside franchise center Joel Embiid and was the biggest disappointment in a season that cost coach Brett Brown his job.

This was the first major move under the new regime of team president Daryl Morey and coach Doc Rivers and shed the salary that appeared to hinder the Sixers from making any other major moves.

Horford lost his starting spot late in the season and didn’t appear to fit in with the franchise moving forward under Rivers. The Sixers get major cap flexibility by taking Green with just $15 million and one more season left on his deal.

The Sixers have three second-round picks.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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