Lakers expected to pursue Pacers’ TJ McConnell in free agency

TJ McConnell, Pacers, Lakers
Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers are expected to make some changes to their roster this offseason, although no one truly knows how deep those changes will go. All that we know right now is that two key players, TJ McConnell and Doug McDermott, are set to hit the open NBA free agency market this offseason. McConnell is a player the Pacers would like to re-sign, but the Los Angeles Lakers are also interested in him.

McConnell would be a perfect fit for the Lakers off the bench as their backup point guard. He would bring tenacity on the defensive end of the court, the ability to create for his teammates, and an improved offensive game as well.

During the 2020-21 NBA season, the Pacers struggled to find consistency on both sides of the court. However, there was a major bright spot when McConnell played. He took his game to a new level and was a huge leader for Indiana.

He ended the season 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 knocked down 31.3 percent of his three-point attempts.

McConnell worked hard to improve his perimeter shooting, and some of those results were seen this year. With another full offseason of hard work, he could become an even more dangerous offensive threat.

If the Pacers do want to re-sign him in free agency, they will have a hard time offering more than the Lakers can. Los Angeles can give McConnell a chance to compete for a championship and could also give him the tax payer’s mid-level exception.

While the Pacers may not be able to match the Lakers’ offer, they do have something going for them. McConnell has been open about enjoying his time with Indiana and has mentioned that he would like to remain with the team.

Expect to hear more news and rumors about TJ McConnell as the offseason gets underway. The Pacers want him back, but they may not be able to make it happen. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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