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Liberty Ballers Community Rankings: TJ McConnell

And we continue our rankings with your help.

NBA: Preseason-Orlando Magic at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Liberty Ballers is asking for the community’s help in ranking the Sixers’ full roster (12 active players, 3 inactive players, 2 two-way players) according to on-court value for the upcoming season. When casting a vote, you should concern yourself only with each player’s ability to contribute to winning this season. You can find the original post here, which includes the Sixers’ projected final roster.

Since the last time we voted, the Sixers have finalized their roster. Lucky for us, the roster matches up with our projection, so we can carry on without swapping Demetrius Jackson with DJ Hogg. When it came time to select the 8th most valuable player to the Sixers this season, TJ McConnell took the vote with 53% of the total.

TJ McConnell

TJ McConnell has grown from an on-the-fringe-of-the-roster body into a legitimate NBA rotation player. For many teams, he’d provide a solid 2nd unit point guard. But it seems that Brett Brown will often bestow that role upon Markelle Fultz. Just recently, Brown said of Markelle, “I believe that Markelle is at his best with the ball, and so when you watch how I substitute and determine patterns, when you bring him off the bench in the second half you’re able to get him like four or five more minutes as a point guard.”

That doesn’t mean TJ McConnell won’t find minutes — he has a knack for doing exactly that. But it’s just hard to figure out how and where he does. When Brett Brown staggers Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz, he’ll likely want both players surrounded by as much floor spacing and wing depth as possible; that’s not TJ’s profile.

Take a look at TJ’s splits: McConnell averaged 26.2 MPG in the month of November last season, but that number fell to 18.8 MPG in March. What happened in March? It was Ersan Ilyasova and Marco Belinelli’s first full month on the Sixers, and Markelle Fultz returned for the final three games of the month. 18.8 MPG would still be significant time, but Markelle will get increased playing time much to the detriment of McConnell’s minutes. Furthermore, players who will get higher priority on the bench due to positional offerings include: JJ Redick, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala and Amir Johnson.

When McConnell does get his opportunities, we can expect what TJ often brings: stolen inbound passes following a Sixers’ score, solid backcourt defense, intensity and reliable facilitating.

It’s going to be a very interesting season to monitor McConnell. He’s a free agent next summer, and he’ll want to prove his value to the rest of the NBA and to get leverage over the Sixers. There’s a chance he takes an opportunity in a more stable situation (calling the Hawks & Lloyd Pierce, brought in as Trae Young’s mentor on how to make a difference on D as an undersized guard). McConnell may be more intense than ever in 2018-2019.

Sixers Community Rankings

Rank Player Vote percentage Runner-up Runner up vote % 3rd 3rd vote %
Rank Player Vote percentage Runner-up Runner up vote % 3rd 3rd vote %
17 Demetrius Jackson 41% Jerryd Bayless 29% Furkan Korkmaz 10%
16 Jerryd Bayless 29% Demetrius Jackon (leading vote getter) 32% Shake Milton 22%
15 Shake Milton 81% Jonah Bolden 8% Zhaire Smith 4%
14 Jonah Bolden 69% Zhaire Smith 17% Furkan Korkmaz 12%
13 Zhaire Smith 39% Furkan Korkmaz 37% Amir Johnson 8%
12 Furkan Korkmaz 64% Amir Johnson 11% Landry Shamet 11%
11 Landry Shamet 30% Amir Johnson 26% Mike Muscala 21%
10 Amir Johnson 43% Mike Muscala 35% TJ McConnell 17%
9 Mike Muscala 55% TJ McConnell 26% Wilson Chandler 15%
8 TJ McConnell 53% Wilson Chandler 37% Markelle Fultz 11%

Voting for #7:


Who will be the Sixers’ 7th most valuable player this season?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Markelle Fultz
    (67 votes)
  • 82%
    Wilson Chandler
    (381 votes)
  • 1%
    JJ Redick
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    Dario Saric
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    Robert Covington
    (5 votes)
463 votes total Vote Now

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