Cavs: 2 realistic expectations for FA target T.J. McConnell with CLE

Indiana Pacers guard T.J. McConnell brings the ball up the floor. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers guard T.J. McConnell brings the ball up the floor. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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T.J. McConnell, Cleveland Cavaliers
Indiana Pacers guard T.J. McConnell handles the ball. (Photo by Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports) /

At this point, the Cleveland Cavaliers have what appears to be their starting 1 of the future in Darius Garland, who had quite the bounce-back Year 2. After a fairly underwhelming first season, though there were a number of things that played into that, Garland stepped up to the challenge in his second year and had 17.4 points and 6.1 assists per game.

Looking onward, Garland looks to be a key player for the Wine and Gold. If it were up to me, Collin Sexton would still be a player that’d be in that category for Cleveland too.

But with Cleveland ending up drawing the #3 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, and Sexton set to be extension-eligible, he could potentially be on the move eventually with a possible guard draft pick. According to a report from Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated, the Cavaliers “have begun to explore trade options” involving Sexton.

Granted, I’d personally prefer for Sexton to get his share of playing time, at least in some chunk of next season, alongside Garland and even Jalen Green or Jalen Suggs, both of whom Cleveland could possibly draft. Either of those Garland-Sexton-Green or Garland-Sexton-Suggs trios would be very difficult to account for for stretches, from my perspective, and Cleveland should at least, if either were their pick, give Sexton time before a potential trade with them.

We’ll have to see if that were to play out, though.

Nonetheless, whether or not Cleveland does end up dealing Sexton, I do believe that they could very well be in the running for signing a backup point guard.

And as far as a few names, reported free agent target T.J. McConnell could fit the bill, and Frank Ntilikina could help Cleveland, I’d imagine, with more of a role here than has been the case with the New York Knicks. Maybe the likes of Patty Mills could entertain signing with the Cavaliers also.

McConnell could very well be a target for the Cavs via the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, of which is expected to be roughly $10 million. Now, factoring in Dean Wade and Lamar Stevens with some of that, I’d think McConnell could potentially consider signing with the Cavs for a multi-year deal for say, $6-7 million or so per year, on that subject.

For what it’s worth, the current-Indiana Pacers reserve could seemingly look to sign elsewhere, and perhaps Cleveland, where he could get his share of PT, could be the next landing spot for him.

Cleveland Cavaliers: So what’s reasonable to expect from McConnell if he were to sign with Cleveland?

We’ll take a look at those possibilities for him with the Cavs here, beginning with the first of two realistic expectations in that scenario.