T.J. McConnell
T.J. McConnell
29-Year-Old GuardG
Indiana Pacers
2020 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the Pacers in July of 2019.
Personal Bio

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).

College/International Summary

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.

Bounces back with 18 points
GIndiana Pacers
April 18, 2021
McConnell accumulated 18 points (9-10 FG), seven assists and one steal in 36 minutes during Sunday's loss to the Hawks.
ANALYSIS
The 29-year-old recorded one of his most efficient games of the season, hitting nine out of 10 field-goal attempts. McConnell also bounced back from Friday's four-point effort to post his 18th double-digit scoring performance of the season. The sixth-year guard has been a consistent source of assists (6.5) and steals (1.8) off the bench this season and should continue playing a pivotal role for the ninth-seeded Pacers the rest of the way.
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Past Season Summaries
2019

In his first season with the Pacers, McConnell appeared in 71 games, logging 18.7 minutes per contest. He posted averages of 6.5 points, 5.0 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 0.8 steals, while hitting better than 51 percent of his field goals. McConnell shot a career-best 83.3 percent from the line, topping his previous high of 81.1 percent in 2016-17. In his first game with the team, on Oct. 23 against Detroit, McConnell logged 13 minutes off the bench and finished with four points, three rebounds and three assists. On Nov. 8 against those same Pistons, McConnell had a season-high 17 points, in addition to nine assists and five rebounds. The point guard handed out double-digit assists four times, including 11 against the Knicks on Dec. 7. He'd match that total in a win over Phoenix on Jan. 22. In a Feb. 10 game against Brooklyn, McConnell tied his career-high with two blocks. He made his first of three starts on the season against the Bulls on Jan. 10. In the Orlando bubble, McConnell appeared in all 12 of the Pacers' games, including their four playoff matchups against Miami. In an Aug. 4 win over Orlando, McConnell posted 12 points, five assists, four rebounds and a steal in 19 minutes. He played a playoff-high 21 minutes in Game 1 against the Heat, finishing with eight points, eight assists and three rebounds.

2018

T.J. McConnell once again thrived as a backup point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers, his fourth season with the organization. He appeared in 76 games, starting three of them. McConnell averaged 19.3 minutes of court time per contest. The fiesty point guard scored 6.4 points per game and shot a career-best 52.5 percent from the floor, doing the majority of his damage from inside the three-point arc. On, Dec. 12, McConnell scored 17 points, on 9-of-10 shooting, and dished six assists in a loss to the Nets. He scored a season-high 18 points in the regular season finale against Chicago on Apr. 10. For the season, the Arizona Wildcat also produced 3.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per contest. McConnell was fourth on the team in assists. McConnell had 24 games with at least five assists, including three eight-assist outputs. He also grabbed a season-high six rebounds in a Christmas Day loss to the Boston Celtics. McConnell's Sixers finished with a record of 51-31 and defeated the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs. They would then lose to the Raptors in the second round of the playoffs.

2017

McConnell played 76 games for the 76ers during the 2017-18 season, drawing one start and seeing 22.4 minutes per contest. He averaged 6.3 points, 4.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals while reaching career highs in field-goal percentage (49.9) and three-point percentage (43.5). McConnell also ranked 13th in the NBA in steal percentage (2.6) and seventh in defensive box plus/minus (1.9). He also set new single-game career highs in points (18) and steals (six). Arguably his best performance of the season occurred Nov. 25 during a 130-111 win over the Magic. He started, played 37 minutes and recorded 15 points (7-12 FG, 1-1 3Pt), 13 assists (one turnover), seven rebounds, three steals and one block. Philadelphia finished the season 52-30, making the playoffs as the third seed in the Eastern Conference. After defeating the Heat in five games during the First Round, the 76ers lost in five games to the Celtics during the Conference Semifinals. Across his 10 playoff appearances, McConnell averaged 5.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 15.5 minutes. His best playoff performance was during a Game 4 victory over the Celtics. McConnell started, played 39 minutes and posted 19 points (9-12 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 0-1 FT), eight rebounds and five assists with no turnovers.

2016

In his second season with Philadelphia, McConnell saw his role expand. He appeared in 81 games, starting 51 contests and seeing 26.3 minutes per game. His increased playing time led to career marks essentially across the board, and he averaged 6.9 points, 6.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals. He ranked eighth in total assists (534) and sixth in steals (134) and had five double-doubles. McConnell also set new per-game bests in assists (17), rebounds (10) and steals (five). Arguably his best performance of the season was Jan. 6 against Boston. McConnell started, played 37 minutes and recorded nine points, 17 assists, four rebounds and a steal with just two turnovers. His best stretch of the season was 17 games from Jan. 21-Feb. 25. McConnell averaged 9.5 points on 7.9 shots, plus 7.9 assists (2.1 turnovers), 3.5 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 30.9 minutes. The 76ers finished the season 28-54 and did not qualify for the postseason.

2015

Following two years of college ball at Duquesne and two years at Arizona, McConnell did not hear his name called during the 2015 NBA Draft. However, he signed with the Philadelphia 76ers in late September as an undrafted rookie. McConnell made his NBA debut during the first game of the season -- a 17-point loss to the Celtics in which he posted four points (2-5 FG, 0-1 3Pt), four assists, three steals and one block across 28 minutes. He ended up appearing in 81 games (17 starts) with Philadelphia. As a reserve, McConnell averaged 5.7 points, 4.2 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 17.9 minutes. As a starter, he averaged 7.5 points, 5.6 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 27.1 minutes. He set single-game career highs of 17 points, 13 assists, nine rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Arguably, his best performance of the season occurred during a five-point win over the Nets on Feb. 6. McConnell recorded 17 points (7-10 FG, 2-2 3Pt, 1-2 FT), six assists, two rebounds and two steals in 28 minutes. His solid play as a rookie was a positive in a challenging season -- from a team perspective -- for the 76ers.

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Average Fantasy Points
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Transaction History
  • September 22, 2015
    Signed a three-year contract with the Philadelphia 76ers.
  • July 29, 2019
    Signed a two-year contract as a free agent with the Indiana Pacers.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
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
Team-high eight dimes
GIndiana Pacers
April 16, 2021
McConnell played 23 minutes off the bench and contributed four points (2-4 FG), eight assists, three rebounds and three steals Friday in the loss to the Jazz.
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Picks up four steals
GIndiana Pacers
April 14, 2021
McConnell totaled 12 points (5-5 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 1-2 FT), six rebounds, four assists and four steals in a 132-124 victory over the Rockets on Wednesday.
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Racks up 15 assists
GIndiana Pacers
April 7, 2021
McConnell scored 19 points (9-12 FG, 1-1 3Pt) to go along with 15 assists, three rebounds and two steals across 35 minutes in Wednesday's 141-137 win over the Timberwolves.
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Production boost continues
GIndiana Pacers
April 4, 2021
McConnell produced 18 points ( 9-14 FG), eight assists and seven rebounds across 34 minutes in Saturday's 139-133 win over the Spurs.
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Productive off bench again
GIndiana Pacers
April 2, 2021
McConnell finished with 12 points (5-8 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 2-2 FT), seven assists, two blocks and a rebound across 32 minutes in Friday's loss against the Hornets.
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