These two B/R mock trades have the Pacers turning a backup into gold

TJ McConnell - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
TJ McConnell - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indiana Pacers
Khem Birch, Tyrese Haliburton – Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers expand their crest of draft capital

Unlike the previous mock trade, the Indiana Pacers bolster their transactional board and prioritize draft capital in this deal with the Toronto Raptors while shedding off salary owed to TJ McConnell. After all, getting two second-rounders for a backup will never be a bad move in any shape, way, or form.

While the Pacers have no direct use for Khem Birch, landing him as the salary-matcher in this deal will give them the sufficient positional fallback they need should they eventually pull the trigger on a widely-expected Myles Turner trade. Better yet, Birch’s salary is not particularly difficult to move, and contenders in need of a boost in the frontcourt could line up for his services.

In return, the Raptors acquire perhaps the perfect backup to Fred VanVleet who should be able to thrive in their disruptive defensive schemes. In addition, McConnell is familiar with some of Toronto’s playbook, as he was one of the few who actually flourished under former Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren, now an assistant under Nick Nurse.

dark. Next. Leaked Pacers 22-23 city edition kit looks awful