Philadelphia 76ers

Sixers Pick Up T.J. McConnell’s Option For 2018-19 Season

T.J. McConnell Dresses To Impress In Exit Interview

Philadelphia fans should be proud of the season the Sixers just had. A team who had missed the playoffs for more than 5 seasons has finally grown into a future contender. T.J. McConnell had a fantastic season coming off the bench for Ben Simmons. He averaged 6.2 points per game off of .49.9 percent shooting from the field and .43.5 percent from deep. The second-year guard only played 22.4 minutes a game, the Arizona product added 4 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He was a spark off the bench and has had a knack for clutch buckets in his two years in the league. Set to be a free-agent in 2019, the Sixers have decided to pick up McConnell’s option for next season. Professional as always, the reserve point guard dressed to impress at his exit interview, wearing his wedding suit.

NBC Sports reporter Jessica Camerato tweeted this photo of McConnell in his wedding attire following his exit interview:

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR THE SIXERS?

The Sixers are coming off an extraordinary season in which they made it to the second round of the playoffs. It is clear that Simmons will be the starter for years to come, so where does that leave McConnell? Philly has expressed that they are not willing to extend his contract until they watch his production next season. This is a good move for both McConnell and Philadelphia. The game four hero now has the opportunity to develop his game for another season and test the market in 2019. The 76ers can hold off on signing him to a new contract, which gives them more flexibility with cap space. If the Sixers can land a trade or sign a star free agent this summer, they’ll rest easy knowing they didn’t dish out a lengthy contract to the Arizona product. While picking up the 6-foot-2 guards option was a solid move for Philly, the 26-year-old will have to prove himself in order to make the big bucks next off-season.

McConnell had this to say following his exit-interview:

DOES McCONNELL HAVE A FUTURE IN PHILLY?

With the 76ers picking up McConnell’s option for the 2018-19 season, many questions surround the former Wildcat. Does he have the skill to stay relevant on a team full of athleticism? One major flaw in the Pittsburg natives game is his ability to shoot consistently from beyond the arc. Although he was able to shoot phenomenally from the field and behind the 3-point line, his lack of attempts is concerning, considering the lack of shooting ability from the point guard position in Philly, especially Ben Simmons, it casts doubt on the future of McConnell. The Sixers desperately need Simmons to develop his shot or find a solid backup who can shoot consistently and often. If Philly is serious about making a title run in the future, they have to land a talent who can handle the passing load as well as shoot the ball. Expect the 76ers to have a deeper run next season if Simmons and McConnell can become reliable shooting options.

All stats for this article are from stats.nba.com.

Featured Image: Keith Allison via Flickr

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Aric Kirsten

Currently a sports management and sociology major at the University of Arizona. Playing basketball and football has been a huge part of my life, as well as being an avid fan!

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