According to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, Phoenix tried to swoop in and snatch T.J. McConnell away as a temporary solution at point guard, but the 76ers said no thanks. Pompey notes the Suns offered a second-round pick for McConnell, a former Arizona Wildcat.
McConnell is a valuable piece off the bench for Philadelphia, who also started in a deciding Game 5 against Boston alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in place of Robert Covington. Last season, McConnell averaged 6.3 points, 4 assists and 1.2 steals while shooting 43.5% on three-pointers in 22.4 minutes.
Not only is McConnell key for the 76ers’ backcourt rotation, but he’s a culture-setter who’s been there through the thick and thin of their full-scale rebuilding efforts.
Compared to other names we’ve heard so far, including most recently Terry Rozier, McConnell makes the most sense from a financial and timing standpoint. McConnell is on an expiring contract, but also someone who brings much-needed scrappiness and shooting ability onto the court. For one season, McConnell would definitely be an upgrade for the starting unit over what’s currently on the roster.
From the outside looking in, it’s looking like teams around the league know how desperate Phoenix is for an answer at point guard, which means unless you give up even something that resembles a first-round pick (heavily protected, like in the Kawhi Leonard trade with Toronto), teams won’t budge to help them out.
Poor timing on the Suns’ part has led them into the position they are in now with Jamal Crawford as a Band-Aid of sorts.
It’s fair to ask if Phoenix might wait it out until teams are more willing to talk trades between December-February. If that’s the case, it’s going to be a rough adjustment period in the short term until it’s eventually resolved one way or another.