High-leaping Mac McClung has taken a step up in the Sixers organization.
The Sixers plan to sign McClung to a two-way contract and waive rookie wing Julian Champagnie, a source confirmed Tuesday to NBC Sports Philadelphia. The Athletic’s Shams Charania first reported the news.
McClung will be in the national spotlight later this week when he competes in the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend. The 6-foot-2 guard has long been known as an exceptional dunker.
Of course, that is not McClung’s only notable skill. In 18 regular-season games with the Sixers’ G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, he’s averaged 19.1 points and 4.7 assists, per Basketball Reference. McClung has also shot well beyond the arc lately and is at exactly 50 percent from three-point range.
The Sixers signed the 24-year-old McClung to an Exhibit 10 contract in October after the Warriors waived him. He’s been determined to prove he’s worthy of an NBA spot.
“He’s been enjoyable to coach,” Blue Coats head coach Coby Karl told NBC Sports Philadelphia last month. “I think sometimes he’s hard-headed. I was hard-headed as a player, so I get it, and I think that’s what makes him good. He’s competitive. He wants to be really good and he wants it now.
“But my favorite part about coaching him this year is a lot of things we’ve asked him to do aren’t easy things, and he’s made strides. He’s grown in a lot of those areas, and to me growth is the No. 1, most important thing at this level. I think he’s guarding the ball better. He’s making an impact in the pick-and-roll. He’s giving a good effort in those areas, and then he’s trying to get his teammates involved early in possessions and using his skills and his athleticism to help his teammates.”
According to McClung, there’s no specific players whose styles he aims to emulate.
“Not really. I think that’s one thing where I just try to be myself,” he said. “Obviously I take things from NBA players and I look up to a lot of NBA players, but I try to have my own unique style. But I definitely learn every day and watch film every day of those players.”
As a two-way contract player, McClung will be eligible to split time between the Sixers and Blue Coats. While it’s hard to envision him receiving meaningful minutes with the NBA team anytime soon, he’ll be able to call himself a Sixer at the dunk contest on Saturday night.
Champagnie appeared in just two games with the Sixers. In the G League regular season, he’s averaged 14.3 points and 5.7 rebounds, shooting 35.2 percent from three-point range.