T.J. McConnell will be the starting point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers when the regular season gets underway later this month, per sources.
With offseason acquisition Jerryd Bayless sidelined due to his sore left wrist, the Sixers have been starting McConnell at the 1 spot during the ongoing preseason.
McConnell has performed admirably and has seemingly earned the trust of coach Brett Brown.
“He (McConnell), out of all the people I have available to me now, knows me more than anybody,” the Sixers coach told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“I feel like those ingredients more than anything come to my mind (as to) why we have the confidence to let him end games,” added Brown.
The Sixers have been desperately trying to find a starting-caliber point guard.
Prior to June’s NBA Draft, they reportedly tried to acquire Boston’s No.3 pick in order to draft Kris Dunn. However, after that plan fell flat, they acquired Bayless and Spaniard Sergio Rodriguez in the offseason.
T.J. McConnell: A star in the making?
The sophomore guard showed flashes of a stater during his rookie season in which he averaged 6.1 points and 4.5 assists from 19.8 minutes per game.
His ball-handling and passing skills have earned the praise of many analysts.
This preseason, McConnell put on a show against the Boston Celtics (13 points, 4 assists) and Washington Wizards (12 points, 7 assists), even though turnovers seem to be a problem for the 24-year-old.
McConnell, who went undrafted last year, started his rookie season as a third string backup. However, if he continues to deliver as a starter, it’s likely that he could retain the job even after Bayless’ return.
Rodriguez and Nik Stauskas are Brett Brown’s two other options at the 1 spot. But it seems like McConnell is set to get a long rope at least for the foreseeable future.
T.J. McConnell and the Sixers will begin their regular season campaign against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Oct. 26.