Sixers sign G-League Rookie of the Year to new contract

Mac McClung, Sixers (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
Mac McClung, Sixers (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /

The Sixers are still making moves with the new season right around the corner. On Saturday Philadelphia signed Mac McClung, who spent Summer League with the Warriors after starring for the South Bay Lakers in the G-League last season, where he was named Rookie of the Year.

McClung is entering his second NBA season. He played two games at the NBA level last season, one for the Chicago Bulls and one for the Los Angeles Lakers. In 26 games for the Lakers’ G-League affiliate, the Texas Tech product averaged 21.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 7.7 assists on 47.0 percent shooting.

He signed with Philadelphia on an Exhibit 10 deal, which incentivizes him to sign with the Delaware Blue Coats when the Sixers inevitably wave him before the season.

Does Mac McClung have a future with the Sixers?

McClung will likely play a significant role for the Blue Coats next season. The 6-foot-2 guard is quite the athlete, known (especially in Los Angeles) for his highlight-reel dunks. He doesn’t look the part of your traditional stud athlete, which made him a quick fan favorite for the Lakers despite his exceedingly limited NBA exposure.

As for his NBA future, the road ahead for McClung in undeniably dicey. The Sixers have a lot of guard talent on the roster right now. There’s no immediate path toward a roster spot for McClung, much less an opportunity to earn minutes and carve out a role. He will need to turn in another star season in the G-League, then hope to turn that into a more serious NBA opportunity next season (or elsewhere this season with a different franchise).

On top of his acrobatic dunks, McClung can shoot the 3-pointer well (37.7 percent in the G-League last season). There is a space in the league for players who can shoot, pass, and explode at the rim like McClung.

Unfortunately, he’s an extremely weak defender right now, lacking the size and strength to guard the best NBA players. Defense will be the main point of concern more NBA teams as McClung looks to make the jump to the next level.

The Sixers are wise to get their hands on such a talented player. McClung will likely get the chance to play alongside multiple current Sixers in Delaware: most of all Jaden Springer, the former first-round pick who’s looking at another season of extended G-League reps. He’s the kind of highlight-reel player who could actually get fans out to the arena in Delaware, but more importantly, McClung will elevate those around him and put the Blue Coats in a position to contend. He might not have a clear future with the Sixers, but there’s reason to believe McClung with get another chance to make waves in the NBA.

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