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T.J. McConnell's chance of making the Sixers looks bleak

The Sixers' backcourt is filling up, and it may force McConnell to look elsewhere to pursue his NBA dream

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

When T.J. McConnell signed with the Sixers as undrafted free agent for Summer League, I always felt he had a great shot to make the team.

The 76ers have the least talented roster in the league, and it's not even close. And even more favorable for McConnell, is that they didn't have one point guard on the roster that you could say is a "solid and established" NBA player.

T.J. had a legitimate shot to make the roster. Unfortunately, his less-than-stellar Summer League performance could leave him looking elsewhere for an NBA roster spot.

In six Summer League games in Utah and Las Vegas, T.J. averaged 5.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 3.2 ASTs, and 0.5 STLs. He also played an average of about 23 minutes per game, and even started four games.

While those numbers don't look bad and obviously he does things that don't necessarily show up in the box score, it's really his shooting percentages that have not helped his case. He shot just 35.9% from the field, and 20% (2-10) from behind the arc. He also was a little turnover prone as his assist-to-turnover ratio was 1.3 (for reference, it was 3.05 in his senior year at Arizona).

Because T.J. didn't stand out, the Sixers appear to have gone in a different direction. A few days ago they signed Pierre Jackson to a multi-year deal, and even more recently they signed former Florida Gator Scottie Wilbekin to a four-year contract.

Both these players are guards, and with them being added to a roster that includes Isaiah Canaan and Tony Wroten (though Wroten is likely to miss the start of the season), it could likely leave McConnell out of the mix.

But as of now, it's not clear whether or not the Sixers have extended a training camp invite to McConnell. The Sixers may have seen just enough from T.J. to want to get another extended look at him. If they do bring him to training camp, he'll get yet another shot to make the team. And even though he already appears to be behind Wilbekin, Jackson, and Canaan, you never know how things could shake out between now and Opening Night.

If the Sixers decide to move on altogether and don't offer him a training camp invite, McConnell will inevitably catch on somewhere else. His agent told that 15 teams offered him a spot on their Summer League roster. I'd have a hard time believing that not one of those teams would offer him a training camp invite.

If for some reason he can't land a training camp invite, he can opt to play in the D-League or somewhere overseas. The D-League doesn't seem like a glamorous option, but there are quite a few number of players that have gotten called up from the D-League who have gone on to make NBA rosters (and stay on them).

Either way, no matter how things end up for McConnell in the next few weeks, his Summer League contract with the Sixers guaranteed him a "six-figure amount" regardless if makes the team or not. At worst, he can look elsewhere to pursue his NBA dream while also pocketing a nice chunk of change.