Indiana Pacers: Predictions for impending free agents

Indiana Pacers, T.J. McConnell (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers, T.J. McConnell (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Indiana Pacers, TJ McConnell
Indiana Pacers, TJ McConnell (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Indiana Pacers impending free agent: T.J. McConnell

McConnell, much like McDermott, was a vital member of the Indiana Pacers’ bench this season and cobbled together some impressive underlying metrics, including the highest win shares-mark of his career and strong on/off numbers. The team was 4.5 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor.

However, the most important statistics were his three-point numbers. While not shooting them in a high quantity (0.7 per game) or at a high percentage (31.3%) McConnell added a bit of a corner three-pointer to his game as the season finished. After taking only seven three-pointers in the first two months of the season, he took a combined 41 over the final four months. Not a big number, but a number that is essentially one attempt per game.

The fear around McConnell is his hesitance to shoot perimeter jumpers. It’s what allowed him to sign for relatively cheap with Indiana in the first place. The rest of this game is nearly ideal for a sixth man. He’s an energetic point-of-attack defender that is adept at creating opportunities for both himself and others, as well as pushing the tempo. The fear with him is that when he’s not dominating the ball, he gets ignored by the opposing defense.

While this is still mostly true, the semblance of a developing corner three-point shot and the value that McConnell brought to the Pacers this year means more teams will be willing to look past his issues.

Indiana may be enticed to bring him back, but they’re strong at guard and will have an even more difficult time fitting McConnell into their cap sheet if McDermott re-signs. Running back the same team in its entirety and taking minutes from younger, developing guards like Sumner doesn’t feel like the smartest decision.

My prediction is that McConnell signs a two-year deal worth upwards of $20 million over the span of the contract with another team.