This Pacer would inject life into Cavs bench, would be great trade target

T.J. McConnell, Indiana Pacers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
T.J. McConnell, Indiana Pacers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /
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This offseason, it’s clear the Cleveland Cavaliers must bring in perimeter shooting and/or wing help to supplement their core players, and generally, the bench needs some juice.

The bench play for the Cavaliers was an issue throughout last season, and in the playoffs, while the four key guys for Cleveland did not play to their standards, it’s not as if the bench provided much, either.

As we hinted at, the Cavs have to find ways to add more perimeter shooting/spacing this offseason, and it’s logical that they’ve been linked to various trade targets, and in the same light, possible free agency targets. Along with the wing need, backup 5 is an area Cleveland needs more legitimacy, and having a stretch 4 in the rotation could do wonders for Cleveland.

That said, Cleveland may want to address the backup lead guard situation, too.

It’s reasonable to believe Ricky Rubio can bounce back from a forgettable season, as he’ll be further along in his recovery from his second ACL tear, and heading into next season, he should be more comfortable.

Although, there’s some uncertainty moving forward as it pertains to the Rubio outlook, and whether or not Cleveland were to bring in insurance in case of Rubio being possibly being ineffective, it’s fair to be skeptical about him.

Rubio also discussed on an appearance on the podcast La Satona last month how he is “starting to consider” his return back to playing in Barcelona, (as h/t Johnny Askounis of close to home, and finishing out his playing basketball in Europe. He hit on how he has “two years” left on his deal and even possibly “one,” with his 2024-25 season only partially-guaranteed.

With those things in mind, veterans such as Reggie Jackson and Austin Rivers could be sensible depth signings this offseason, or perhaps the Cavaliers could pursue viable depth via trade. In that realm, a player who could give the Cavs bench a jolt could be T.J. McConnell of the Indiana Pacers.

McConnell was a player the Cavaliers were previously linked to as a possible free agency signing before he ultimately re-signed with Indiana in the 2021 offseason, and he is a quality player. Given how the Pacers have to be prioritizing young players getting minutes from here, though, McConnell would seem to be attainable, and the Cavs would be wise to try to acquire him.

McConnell would inject life into the Cavs bench, and has the makings of a great trade target.

McConnell would bring more legitimacy to the Cavaliers backup lead guard spot, and for stretches of games, he could be a tone-setter for Cleveland with the energy he’d provide.