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, JaKarr Sampson
Indiana Pacers, JaKarr Sampson (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Indiana Pacers impending free agent: JaKarr Sampson

The 28-year-old Sampson has spent his last two seasons with the Indiana Pacers after bouncing around the league his first six years. He’s been a decent 11th or 12th man for Indy, providing size and energy off the bench, even filling minutes at center a few different times due to injuries.

While Sampson has been a solid contributor when given minutes in Indiana, without a consistent jump shot it’s hard to warrant playing time for him over other options. I was a bit surprised when Indiana decided to bring him back for this season, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it gets late in the 2021 offseason and Sampson is brought back again on a minimum contract.

However, I’d be willing to bet that Sampson does not play next season in a Pacers’ uniform. The addition of Oshae Brisset, who should play most of his minutes as a backup 4 next season, as well as the solid and somewhat encouraging play of Goga Bitadze this season means that Sampson likely doesn’t have a place on the roster. Though if it gets to the end of the offseason and Indiana has yet to pick up a fifth “big” or even a sixth, it could open the door for a return.

My prediction is that he signs a minimum contract somewhere else. Sampson would likely be suitable in a more consistent role and it just takes one team to open that up for him.

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