Mac McClung Teases Sixers Future in First Game Back After Dunk Contest

Mac McClung Philadelphia 76ers

Getty Mac McClung of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Before the season started, it would have been hardly unthinkable that two Philadelphia 76ers players would feature over All-Star Weekend.

After all, James Harden (before this season) was an All-Star lock. Tyrese Maxey’s star shined brighter than most, with some suggesting he could make his first All-Star Game. And Joel Embiid was fresh off a scoring title and MVP runner-up performance.

Flash forward several months, and it’s true that Philadelphia had two players feature during the break. But Embiid wasn’t joined by Harden or Maxey. In fact, he wasn’t joined by anyone at the All-Star Game. Rather, Sixers two-way player Mac McClung stole the show on Saturday, winning the dunk contest with a series of vicious slams.

His first game back, however, was a bit of a “back to earth” moment for McClung. Going two-of-nine from the field in the Delaware Blue Coats’ loss to the Motor City Cruise, McClung’s disappointing night was a reminder that he’s still very much a work in progress.

Nonetheless, after the game, McClung doubled down on his NBA aspirations.

“I wanna be in the NBA,” McClung said, per Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire. “I wanna make an impact. I can’t have nights like tonight, but waiting my turn and I can control what I can control and that’s about it.”

Even if he’s struggling to see an impact on the floor, the Sixers have no doubt benefitted financially from McClung’s addition. Ticket demand for the Blue Coats has gone up eight times since McClung’s dunk contest win, according to Front Office Sports.

McClung Ready to Make Most of Pro Chance

McClung also kept things real about his future in the league. As much as he could improve, McClung is also cognizant of the fact that there’s a hierarchy in the league, meaning he just has to be ready for when his number is called.

“There’s definitely constant improvement on both sides of the ball,” he added. “I think it’s easy to say ‘Oh if I get better at this, I’ll get a chance’, but a lot of it is just waiting your turn. I really haven’t had a turn yet so when I have that turn, I believe I’ll make the most of it.”

Once little more than a curiosity, the G-League has turned into a legitimate incubator for potential NBA talent.

For example, the WarriorsJordan Poole was thriving in the G-League two seasons ago before exploding onto the scene last year during Golden State’s Finals run. Just last summer, the Warriors signed Poole to a $123 million contract.

There’s no guarantee McClung will ever reach that peak, but he’s certainly riding strong momentum following the dunk contest.

Sixers Eyeing Additional Reinforcements

According to reporter Jason Dumas, the Sixers have inquired about one of the recent players to hit the buyout market – Will Barton.

Source: The Sixers have inquired about Will Barton, who is still going through the process of deciding where he will play this season,” Dumas said via Twitter.

It’s not the first time Barton has been on Philadelphia’s radar. The ten-year veteran was averaging 7.7 points on 38% from three with the Wizards this season.

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