While impending Philadelphia 76ers‘ free agents Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris are at the forefront of the news cycle, fan-favorite TJ McConnell‘s future with the team is unknown.

McConnell just completed a four-year contract he signed prior to the 2015 season for $4.47 million.

The Arizona product is beloved in Philadelphia for his aggressiveness on the court and is highly regarded by his teammates.

Will the Sixers try to re-sign him as the backup point guard or let him walk in free agency?

If they decide to part ways with the undrafted guard, it would be a tough day for many loyal Sixers fans.

“One of us”

Many Sixers fans have remained loyal to McConnell over the years due to his connection to  former general manager Sam Hinkie.

But it’s more than his connection to Hinkie that fans appreciate about him. Like Butler, he delivered what fans were looking for in a professional athlete – maximum effort and a love for the game that was obvious to observe.

McConnell was one of the few bright spots during the “process” years. He started 51 games back in the 2016-2017 season when the team won only 10 games.

It was one of the worst teams in the history of the league, but he played in every game that season and never took a minute for granted.

He even arguably won the team a playoff game back in 2018 against the Boston Celtics.

Down 3-0 in the series, head coach Brett Brown inserted McConnell into the starting lineup. In 39 minutes, he scored 19 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists.

The crowd chanted his name numerous times throughout the game.

Over the course of four seasons, McConnell averaged 6.4 points per game, 2.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists.

Those aren’t flashy numbers and don’t truly represent his value to the team. Hustling for every loose ball, playing full-court defense on the opposing guard and running off the bench to support his teammates is what he brings.

Concerning fit

The Sixers will likely be shopping for a backup point who can contribute more on the scoreboard. They need guards who can stretch the floor and make outside shots.

Brett Brown struggled to find a role for McConnell in the most recent playoffs. He played in just nine of their 13 playoff games and averaged 8.3 minutes per game.

Plus, his inability to play with Ben Simmons may be a leading reason his time with the Sixers could be over.

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Content Contributor for Armchair Philadelphia 76ers , The Armchair All-Americans LLC
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