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Report: Philly exercises option on T.J. McConnell

T.J. McConnell

With their 2017-18 season in the books, the Philadelphia 76ers have announced that they will exercise T.J. McConnell’s contract option, according to a report from Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia. The team’s president of basketball operations, Bryan Colangelo, released the news Friday morning.

McConnell’s contract, which is valued at roughly $1.6 million, could be viewed as a bargain for the Sixers, who were recently eliminated from playoff contention by the Boston Celtics. The crafty point guard played a big role in Philly’s postseason run. In Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, he racked up 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

“I think everyone’s expectations for the minutes they want to play should be high,” McConnell said. “But we’ve got a lot of good guys on this team. I obviously want to play as many minutes as I did toward the end of that series, but that’s unfortunately not up to me. So we’ll see what happens this summer and let the cards lie where they go.”

The Sixers will need to figure out how they are going to split minutes between McConnell and Markelle Fultz, who they drafted No. 1 overall in last year’s NBA Draft. When Fultz did play this season, McConnell’s minutes often took a hit. Despite that fact, McConnell still had high praise for Fultz’ game.

“Markelle is a special player,” McConnell said. “That’s not a lie. When he plays at the level that they drafted him to play at, if there’s a spot for me, great. If not, I’m not really sure what I can do about that. But unfortunately, that’s out of my hands. But I’d love to be here.”

McConnell played in 76 games for the Sixers during their regular season campaign, averaging 6.3 points on 49.9 percent shooting from the field (43.5 percent from beyond the arc), 4.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 22.4 minutes per.

“T.J. is amazing,” Joel Embiid said. “I love him. I love the way he plays. Hopefully, he’s with us for a long time.”