76ers fans praise T.J. McConnell as time in Philadelphia possibly ends | TribLIVE.com
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76ers fans praise T.J. McConnell as time in Philadelphia possibly ends

Tim Benz
T.J. McConnell could land with a new team if the 76ers do not see a need for him.

The City of Philadelphia is awash in heartbreak following Kawhi Leonard’s buzzer-beater, which ended the playoffs for the 76ers. 

That miracle shot sent Toronto onto the Eastern Conference Finals and sent Philly in the depths of despair.

I know, Pittsburgh. Contain your schadenfreude.

There was at least one guy in a Sixers uniform who many in Western Pennsylvania were rooting for: T.J. McConnell. The former Chartiers Valley star has been a surprising success story at the other end of the state.

But now his contract is up, and based on some predictions down the Pennsylvania Turnpike, it’s 50-50 as to whether the 76ers will bring him back.

As NBC 10 in Philadelphia reported, “McConnell’s chances of returning increase significantly if (Jimmy) Butler, the team’s de facto second-unit point guard, goes elsewhere. If Butler is back, the Sixers would have no apparent on-court need for McConnell, as much as they love his mentorship of younger players and unfailingly positive attitude.”

If this is the end for McConnell in red, white and blue, he handled it with class going out the door.

After his high school career, McConnell played two years at Duquesne before transferring to Arizona. He climbed his way up from being an undrafted player in the 2015 NBA Summer League, to a guy who got All-Rookie Team votes with Philadelphia.

McConnell even started 51 games in 2016-17 and has steadily averaged slightly more than six points and four assists per game in his four NBA seasons.

However, as this season moved along, McConnell’s playing time waned as the 76ers built a deeper squad. His 3-point shooting and minutes per game were career lows.

McConnell made $1.16 million this season. More money and playing time could be in his future if he goes elsewhere.

But the team that pays him may not be as much of a contender as the Sixers were in 2019.

Regardless, his time in the City of Brotherly Love seems to have been appreciated by that notoriously harsh fan base.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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