Keeping T.J. McConnell solidifies point guard depth

Keeping T.J. McConnell solidifies point guard depth

The Philadelphia 76ers made the smart decision and decided to solidify the point guard position with bringing back T.J. McConnell.

Along with franchise center Joel Embiid and forward Robert Covington, T.J. McConnell is the embodiment of “The Process”. Each of those players respresent the culture of the Philadelphia 76ers at their respective positions. McConnell was an undrafted free agent that signed with Sixers and the team molded into one of the better backup defensive point guards in the league.

It’s evident that the Philadelphia 76ers front office sees McConnell’s worth due to the fact that  the franchise announced that they have exercised the fourth-year option on his contract, along with the option on big man Richaun Holmes‘ contract. Exercising McConnell’s contract option was is a very wise move for the Sixers moving forward.

Beyond what McConnell represents to the Sixers and their fans, retaining him is smart for several reasons. It’s a good move from the salary cap perspective. The option exercised for next season will be non-guaranteed and only worth $1.6 million according to Keith Pompey. This allows the Sixers to have a good salary cap room this offseason and if they need to clear room they can make it without any consequence beyond losing McConnell’s services.

Keeping McConnell on such a team friendly deal seems like a steal considering what he brings on the court. In his three seasons in Philadelphia, McConnell has become a valuable backup for whoever plays point guard.

Per Game Table
2015-16 23 PHI PG 81 17 19.8 .470 .348 .499 .503 .634 3.1 4.5 1.2 0.1 1.7 1.4 6.1
2016-17 24 PHI PG 81 51 26.3 .461 .200 .492 .472 .811 3.1 6.6 1.7 0.1 2.0 1.7 6.9
2017-18 25 PHI PG 76 1 22.4 .499 .435 .510 .531 .795 3.0 4.0 1.2 0.2 1.5 1.6 6.3
Career 238 69 22.9 .475 .335 .500 .500 .765 3.1 5.1 1.3 0.1 1.7 1.6 6.4

His defensive grit can be seen in his steal average and, slowly but surely, he has become a good 3-point shooter. The Sixers know by now what they are getting from McConnell and what they are getting is pretty good.

Keeping McConnell also gives the Sixers stability in the backcourt. McConnell should be the first playmaker off bench regardless if Markelle Fultz starts or not next season. If Fultz does start,, then it’s clear that McConnell will be the first point guard off the bench. If Fultz doesn’t, then he can come in as a reserve shooting guard with McConnell as lead playmaker.

Exercising the option for the upcoming season on Mconnell’s deal benefits the Philadelphia 76ers in several ways. The move helps the team financially and maintains stability at the point guard.

from The Sixer Sense


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