T.J. McConnell

T.J. McConnell

29-Year-Old GuardG
Indiana Pacers
Out
Injury Wrist
Est. Return 3/2/2022
2021 Fantasy Outlook
The scrappy point guard is coming off of a strong 2020-21 season in which he led the league in total steals (128) and ranked second in steals per game (1.9). That category alone propelled McConnell to the best fantasy campaign of his career, but he also chipped in 6.6 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game while shooting a career-best 55.9 percent from the field. The one major knock on McConnell is that he doesn't shoot threes -- he's made only 20 over the last two seasons -- but the lack of an outside game preserves his elite field goal percentage -- especially by point guard standards. McConnell could take a slight step back this season if Malcolm Brogdon and Caris LeVert are able to stay healthy. The Pacers also added another NBA-ready guard in Chris Duarte via the draft, so McConnell likely won't reach last season's workload (26.0 per game) on a nightly basis. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $33.6 million contract with the Pacers in August of 2021.
Personal Bio/PreCareer Summary

T.J. McConnell Jr. was born in 1992 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He played his high school basketball at Chartiers Valley High School in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania. His father, Tim, was his head coach. During his 2009-2010 senior season, he averaged 34.2 points, 9.1 assists and 8.2 rebounds per game. That led to first-team all-state honors and the AP naming McConnell the Pennsylvania Class 3A Player of the Year. McConnell's aunt, Suzie McConnell-Serio, was an All-American basketball player at Penn State, Olympic gold medalist and WNBA standout before being inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008. She later became head coach of the women's team at Duquesne University. Learn more about T.J. McConnell on Instagram (@tjmcconell4). T.J. McConnell spent two years (2010-2012) at Duquesne University before transferring to the University of Arizona, where he spent another two years (2013-2015). As a freshman at Duquesne, McConnell became a productive player almost immediately -- pitching in with 10.8 points, 4.4 assists and 2.8 steals per contest over 32 games, starting 30. He got better as a sophomore and generated 11.4 points, 5.5 assists and 2.8 steals per game. He also started all 31 contests he played. McConnell then sat out a year as part of transferring to Arizona, where he again assumed an important starting role. As a junior, he put up 8.4 points, 5.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game,. McConnell also shot 45.4 percent from the field. Those numbers helped McConnell to the All Pac-12 second team, and the guard was also recognized by the Pac-12 for his defensive play. McConnell's senior season was his best. He scored 10.4 points and sent out 6.3 assists per contest, numbers that helped make him make the All Pac-12 first team. He also snagged 2.2 steals per contest. By the time he graduated and declared for the NBA draft in 2015, McConnell had played in 139 games of collegiate basketball, dishing out 751 career assists, collecting 324 total steals. His 324 NCAA steals currently (March, 2020) rank 24th in all-time.

Added to protocols
GIndiana Pacers
Wrist
January 20, 2022
The Pacers placed McConnell (wrist) in the NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocols prior to Wednesday's 111-104 win over the Lakers.
ANALYSIS
McConnell will presumably remain in isolation for the remaining three games of Indiana's road trip, but the veteran point guard's entry into the protocols doesn't change anything with regard to his timeline for returning from the right wrist surgery he underwent in early December. The Pacers plan to re-evaluate McConnell in late February following the All-Star break, and if his injured wrist has healed as expected, he could make his return to action at some point in early March.
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Average Fantasy Points are determined when T.J. McConnell was active vs. non-active during the season. Click here to view average fantasy points for a different time period.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring T.J. McConnell
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5 days ago
Dan Bruno looks over Monday's slate as Jonas Vanaciunas and the Pelicans host a Pacers squad missing some key members of its frontcourt.
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10 days ago
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12 days ago
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15 days ago
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DraftKings NBA: Wednesday Cheat Sheet
17 days ago
Donovan Mitchell has topped 44 DK points in five of his last six outings and should have another big night with Rudy Gobert’s absence.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
McConnell's role as an assist-heavy backup point guard continued in 2019-20, as he occupied a reserve role behind starter Malcolm Brogdon. In his 18.7 minutes per game, McConnell averaged 6.5 points on 51.6 percent shooting, 5.0 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.0 combined steals-plus-blocks. The continued knock on his game is a lack of scoring, partially fueled by a next-to-non-existent three-point shot (17 total attempts last season). That said, he's able to retain some value in deep fantasy leagues due to his excellent passing and shooting efficiency -- from the field and from the charity stripe (83.3 free throw percentage). Nothing much is expected to change in 2020-21, so he's probably avoidable in shallow fantasy formats.
Following four productive seasons in Philadelphia, McConnell has taken his talents to Indiana on a two-year contract. After spending 2017-18 as the 76ers' as the primary backup to Ben Simmons at point guard, the arrival of Jimmy Butler as a capable floor leader resulted in McConnell taking a reduced role in 2018-19, and the 19.3 minutes played per game was the lowest mark of the point guard's young career. His production last season, however, was still on par with his career averages, and he did shoot a career-high 52.5 percent from the field. On the Pacers, McConnell's role is up in the air, as he will be competing with fellow point guard Aaron Holiday for the backup spot behind expected starter Malcolm Brogdon. While Holiday has shown some promise and is more familiar with the Pacers' scheme, McConnell is the more experienced player, and one that's racked up valuable playing minutes. Ultimately, as a true backup, McConnell is probably only worth exploring as a fantasy option in deep formats.
With Ben Simmons making his career debut and getting the bulk of his minutes at point guard, McConnell wound up seeing a decreased role in the backcourt in Year 3. He averaged 6.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.2 steals across 22.4 minutes, all of which were slightly smaller numbers than a year prior. McConnell did show some semblance of a three-point stroke with his impressive 43.5 percent clip from deep, though it's worth it to note that he did take just 62 total attempts for the year, which lessens the impact that the number had. Looking ahead to the upcoming campaign, McConnell is likely looking at a similar, if not smaller, role in the backcourt. Both Simmons and J.J. Redick are back and likely to start at the two guard spots, while former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz is expected to play in his first full season after being limited to just 14 games last year. As a result, there's likely less playing time for McConnell overall. If McConnell draws a spot start due to an injury, he'll be someone to consider for DFS purposes, but otherwise, he can be safely avoided in most leagues.
For two seasons in a row, the once undrafted McConnell survived a camp where he might have been cut, and then worked his way into a significant role in the rotation. As a rookie, he averaged 19.8 minutes, 6.1 points, 4.5 assists, and 1.2 steals. As a sophomore, he increased those totals to 26.3 minutes, 6.9 points, 6.6 assists, and 1.7 steals. He missed only one game each season. McConnell has established himself as a trustworthy backup, and should have no difficulty making the 2017-18 roster, but he’ll face a whole new challenge this year. After the 76ers drafted Markelle Fultz first overall this summer, and with the pending healthy return of veteran Jerryd Bayless and 2016 first overall pick Ben Simmons – who the 76ers have said they want to use as a part-time point guard – McConnell faces the deepest and most talented depth chart he’s seen in his career. If everyone stays healthy above him, he has almost no chance of repeating even his rookie season usage.
As an undrafted rookie out of Arizona, McConnell defied the odds to break camp with the 76ers, opening the season as the team’s No. 2 point guard. He would end up holding down that role all season thanks to his defensive toughness and abilities as a distributor. McConnell finished with averages of 6.1 points, 4.5 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals across 19.8 minutes per game in his 81 appearances, with his steal total ranking first among all rookies. Though McConnell’s contract isn’t guaranteed for the upcoming season, he proved himself to be a capable reserve in his first year in the league and looks like a lock to make the roster. Though he’ll again open the season as the top backup point guard, this time behind offseason pickup Jerryd Bayless, McConnell could see his overall responsibilities diminish in 2016-17. Along with acquiring Bayless, the 76ers bolstered their roster through the draft with No. 1 overall choice Ben Simmons, who will see most of his time at power forward but is advanced as a ball-handler and passer and could run the offense for extended stretches.
More Fantasy News
Will be re-evaluated in February
GIndiana Pacers
Wrist
December 7, 2021
The Pacers announced Tuesday that McConnell (wrist) will remain in a cast for the next 10-to-12 weeks before the team estimates a timeline for his return to basketball activities.
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Out multiple months after surgery
GIndiana Pacers
Wrist
December 7, 2021
McConnell underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist and is expected to miss several months, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
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In cast, out 'weeks'
GIndiana Pacers
Wrist
December 3, 2021
McConnell (wrist) is in a cast and will be out "weeks," according to coach Rick Carlisle.
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Expected to miss time
GIndiana Pacers
Wrist
December 2, 2021
Coach Rick Carlisle said Thursday that McConnell (wrist) will be "out for a while," Scott Agness of FieldhouseFiles.com reports.
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Doesn't practice Thursday
GIndiana Pacers
Wrist
December 2, 2021
McConnell (wrist) didn't participate in Thursday's practice session, James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star reports.
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