A Pleasant Surprise for the Sixers
*Photo via CBS
T.J. McConnell is a 23 year old undrafted rookie who is making his NBA debut with the Philadelphia 76ers. McConnell joined the Sixers during the 2015 NBA Summer League and had a great showing for them. He earned himself a spot on the roster and played pretty well during the preseason. He averaged 6.2 points and 4.8 assists per game during the five game preseason, according to the Pittsburgh Gazette, eventually making the roster.
McConnell has elevated his play for the Sixers so far this season and has been a pleasant surprise. McConnell is averaging 5.6 points and 7.6 assists per game and has had several flashes of potential. He is even playing well on the defensive side as he is averaging 1.4 assists. In a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, McConnell registered a career high 12 assists in the loss. He found teammates and set them up in their spots. He has contributed to the excellent play of Jahlil Okafor, as he has provided Okafor with a lot of touches in the paint.
McConnell's emergence was desperately needed as the team is still waiting for Tony Wroten to return from injury. McConnell has provided the Sixers with a spark and should remain a starter even when Wroten returns. Wroten is a natural two guard and the Sixers should ride the momentum of McConnell. McConnell and Wroten will play well together and be a good backcourt duo for the Sixers. The Sixers are in rebuilding mode and the 23 year old guard should be a part of their rebuilding plans.
For a player that went undrafted, the Sixers have managed to finally have some luck and get a steal. McConnell has a lot of poise and control and is actually a good shooter as he is shooting 45 percent from the field. His assist to turnover ratio is pretty decent for a rookie, roughly about seven to two. He has played well and will continue to improve his play throughout the season.
With the emergence of McConnell and the solid frontcourt of Okafor and Nerlens Noel, the Sixers may be turning things around sooner than expected. They have a great group of core players that they can add to in this years draft, which should be a high pick. McConnell's future looks bright and so does the Sixers. If he keeps up his solid play, the Sixers will reach the playoffs again in no time. TJ McConnell is the point guard for the future of Sixers basketball.