The Indiana Pacers are fresh off of a disappointing season and have already made the move to fire head coach Nate Bjorkgren after his first year leading the team. One of the lone bright spots for the franchise was the play of point guard TJ McConnell. He was a beast on the defensive end of the floor like normal, but his offensive game grew exponentially this year as well.
According to one source, the Pacers are planning to work hard to re-sign McConnell this offseason in free agency. Plenty of other teams are expected to have interest, but McConnell does enjoy playing in Indiana.
Following the season, McConnell spoke out about staying with the Pacers and made it clear that he would prefer that option.
“I would love to be back here,” McConnell said. “I absolutely love it here. … I don’t have a bad thing to say about anything or anyone.”
During the 2020-21 NBA season with the Pacers, McConnell ended up averaging 8.6 points per game to go along with 6.6 assists, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.9 steals. He shot an impressive 55.9 percent from the floor overall and also shot 31.3 percent from the three-point line.
Being able to develop a perimeter shot will be key for McConnell as an offensive threat moving forward. He has not been a good shooter throughout his entire career, but he worked hard on that this season. With another offseason of hard work and improvement, he could come in and be a 34 or 35 percent three-point shooter next year.
At 29 years of age, there are quite a few teams that could use a strong perimeter defender like McConnell. He should have a decent market, but the Pacers definitely have an advantage in signing him.
Kevin Pritchard has his work cut out for him this offseason. He needs to take this current roster and somehow turn it into a contender in the Eastern Conference without blowing it up too much. Myles Turner seems like the most likely core member of the roster to be moved.
All of that being said, it will be interesting to see if the Pacers are able to re-sign TJ McConnell. They certainly want to, but depending on the price and other teams interested, it could prove to be a difficult thing to do.