Philadelphia 76ers guard Mac McClung has come a long way to establish himself in the NBA.
Mac McClung rocked the basketball world at a young age thanks to his ability to perform athletic dunks as early as high school. Now, the 6-2 (1.88m), 24-year-old guard won the NBA All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Contest for the 2022-23 season.
The Virginia native recently signed a deal to finish the 2022-23 NBA season with the Philadelphia 76ers and now, but who is McClung?
His emergence as an internet sensation during his years at Gate City High School. In 2018, Ballislife listed him as the most exciting player in America.
McClung in college
McClung’s college years were not the best. In October 2017, he backed out of playing for Rutgers and preferred Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown Hoyas. After two years with the Hoyas in which he had limited minutes due to a foot injury, McClung requested a transfer to the Texas Tech Red Raiders in search of playing time.
His college career ended after 79 games with averages of 14.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.0 steals. After that, McClung targeted the 2021 NBA Draft and was not drafted.
Struggling to make the NBA
After the unsuccessful draft process, he signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Lakers for the 2021-22 preseason campaign. With that, the Los Angeles team was able to control his G League rights. McClung was named the developmental league’s Rookie of the Year after averaging 19.6 points, 5.8 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals on 40.3 percent shooting from three-point range for the South Bay Lakers.
McClung has NBA experience as he signed two 10-day contracts with the Chicago Bulls in the 2021-22 season and a two-way with the Los Angeles Lakers at the end of the regular season, but only played twice.
With the Bulls, he saw action in one of the eight games he appeared in and recorded two points with one turnover. The experience with the Lakers was different as he played 21:50 minutes in the final game of the regular season. McClung racked up six points, three rebounds, one assist and one blocked shot.
During the announcement of his participation in the Slam Dunk Contest, McClung made history. The now 76ers guard was still a player for the Delawere Blue Coats and that made him the first G League player to participate in the All-Star festivities.
Now, he will look to cement his position in the NBA with a tough closeout on one of the most competitive teams in the Eastern Conference.
Instead, in the G League he has been a fairly prominent figure for his scoring ability, first with the South Bay Lakers during the 2021-22 season and now with the Delaware Blue Coats, averaging 19.1 points and 4.7 assists per game this season.
Mac McClung’s contract with the Philadelphia 76ers.
McClung has a one-year contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, which is non-guaranteed and depends entirely on the role he may fill beyond the G League. His annual salary is over $160,000 and only if he can break into the team’s core roster will he be eligible in order of qualification for a salary close to $1.7 million next year.
Mac McClung shines at the 2023 Diving Competition
Beyond how difficult it has been to find a spot in the NBA, McClung took advantage of the All-Star Game weekend to showcase his great dunking ability. Perhaps not since Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine has there been such a dominant figure in the competition, getting three perfect scores on four of his attempts.
He defeated in the final Trey Murphy III, who also had an outstanding participation, but was stunned by the maneuvers of the young point guard of 1.88 meters tall. Thanks to this, his popularity skyrocketed even more on social networks, as he awaits opportunities to take his talent to the NBA’s biggest stage.