Sixers Exercise T.J. McConnell’s Team Option

JUNE 13: The Sixers have officially exercised McConnell’s team option, the club announced today in a press release. The announcement also confirmed that Richaun Holmes‘ option has been picked up, as we relayed earlier today.

MAY 11: The Sixers intend to pick up their 2018/19 team option on T.J. McConnell, team president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo told reporters today (Twitter link via Derek Bodner of The Athletic). That option is worth $1,600,520.

McConnell, 26, is coming off a third straight year as a rotation player for the Sixers. In 76 regular season games this season, he averaged 6.3 PPG, 4.0 APG, and 3.0 RPG with a shooting line of .499/.435/.795.

With Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz seemingly ready to handle point guard duties coming into the season, McConnell’s role was expected to be reduced. However, health problems limited Fultz to just 14 regular season games, opening the door for the veteran to be Simmons’ primary backup at the point. McConnell was particularly effective in the postseason, making 25 of 36 shots (.694 FG%) in 10 games against the Heat and Celtics.

While McConnell’s $1.6MM option is obviously a steal for the 76ers, there was a chance the club would decide to turn it down. Like Nikola Jokic in Denver, McConnell would have been a restricted free agent this summer if his option had been declined, but will now be on track for unrestricted free agency in 2019.

Unlike Jokic, McConnell isn’t a franchise-type player, so Philadelphia will opt for the bargain price in 2018/19 and then take its chances with the point guard in unrestricted free agency in 2019, rather than ensuring they can keep him long-term by giving him a raise this offseason.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (via Twitter), McConnell’s salary for 2018/19 remains non-guaranteed even after his option is exercised. However, that shouldn’t matter much, since Philadelphia won’t waive him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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15 thoughts on “Sixers Exercise T.J. McConnell’s Team Option

  1. rgreen

    If they plan on doing anything in free agency,its best to keep cost down.He could always be extended later.Now I just hope they do the same with Holmes.

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  2. Z-A

    They have 4 2nd round draft picks. Thats where you find a replacement for Holmes and McConnell. They wont have the cash to replace them via FA if they land big fish.

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    • rgreen

      We probably already have Holmes’ replacement in Bolden,that and the fact that they never really seemed committed to Holmes,makes me wonder if they’ll decline Holmes’ option.McConnell depends on Fultz,and if they plan on going for 1 big name or 2.If we’re going for 1,then shipping out Bayless with draft capital would move enough salary to make it work.But if we go for 2,moving Rco and Fultz would become necessary.Thats not necessarily 2 stars,that could be necessary for just 1 star and bringing back Redick.

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    • victorg

      IDK this is not the nfl or mlb .. 2nd round picks and most 1rst round picks for that matter don’t typically make an impact.

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      • Z-A

        This is one of the deepest drafts that I can recall. Lots of potential role players can come from this draft outside the Top-14. I’m not looking for a star, I’m looking to replace role players instead of paying them.

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        • victorg

          yeah I know its deep but I don’t think it is find talent to be on your nba roster deep we shall see but most years we are talking about 5-12 guys a draft both rounds combined that are actual nba contributors.. idk maybe I am wrong I just don’t think especially in mcconnells case that you find a comparable player in the second round.

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  3. x%sure

    Optioning McConnell and Holmes is this year’s mistake. Not optioning RoCo was last year’s, maxxing Ben next year’s.

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  4. waldfee

    Just like T.J. bailed out Sean Miller’s corrupt and incompetent behind at Arizona on multiple occasions, he did the same for the Sixers over the years.

    He’s still the best PG on their roster. Ben Simmons is a passing forward at best and Markelle Fultz is about to turn into one of the biggest busts in recent years. Having watched all his games at a talented but horrible UW squad (2-16 Pac-12), he constantly failed to make his teammates better. He showed no urgency in tight situations and even laughed when UW got embarrassed by their opponents. He’s an AAU circus product through and through.

    T.J. will find suitors in free agency. He should be able to command around $10-12 million on a four-to five-year deal. He makes his teammates better. That’s worth something.

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    • x%sure

      Bold stuff, and I agree… IDK if Oconnell will draw 4/44, but he and Holmes should be signed, not put on the UFA path. I think TJ’s heading for 3/24 but could be had now for maybe 4/18. He’s the one they actually want out on the floor!

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      • Z-A

        4/44 he would need a Dellevadova type of post season and a desperate cap flush team.

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    • GuruGray

      Why are you talking about college like it matters? This is the NBA. Laughable that you think TJ is more capable of running an offense than Simmons. It’s as if you didn’t watch them play this year

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      • waldfee

        Yeah, we all saw Simmons’ superior PG “skills” during the playoffs. I mean, before McConnell had to bail the Sixers out from getting swept.

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  5. cesc

    Really like TJ, he’s aggresive, good passer, defender, & specially is got grittiness & determination, I do hope they will keep him after all, is not all about bringing stars in, you need a very deep & good bench & I think TJ gives you that, apart of coming from the area, I would be really disappointed to see him leave…

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