4 Way-too-early NBA trade deadline predictions for the Pacers

TJ McConnell - Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
TJ McConnell - Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Indiana Pacers are thriving so far this season. Touting a 9-6 record through the first 15 games, the team unexpectedly finds itself in fifth place in the jam-packed Eastern Conference despite widespread forecasts of them heading straight to the lottery and bottoming out for the most part.

That being said, there’s a reason why the Pacers are still considered by many to look different after the trade deadline. After all, the team is still home to a bunch of veteran players who, speaking long-term, make sense with different clubs considering the team’s clear youth movement.

Hence, here are four way-too-early NBA trade deadline predictions for Indiana.

4. The Indiana Pacers aggressively try to trade TJ McConnell

Even when Malcolm Brogdon was at the helm, TJ McConnell was a seventh or eighth man at best. However, with the Pacers now riding with Tyrese Haliburton and Andrew Nembhard as their firm rotation point guards, there’s only marginal room left for the pesky point guard.

The eight-year veteran is currently averaging a career-low 16.1 minutes per outing, his role having diminished in large part due to the team’s slew of capable backcourt pieces. However, to be blunt, even the minutes that he is currently logging would be better off tendered to other players.

In fact, McConnell’s role on the team is arguably more important off the court. Conversely, keeping him in his domineering role, even in short spurts, comes at a big opportunity cost—the cost of not giving Bennedict Mathurin the ball-handling role he badly needs to dominate even more off the bench.

For those reasons, look for Indiana to aggressively put McConnell on the trading block, much to the chagrin of fans.