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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Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

A McConnell trade could be logical for both the Cavs and Pacers

Objectively, McConnell would seem attainable, in the time leading into the 2023 NBA Draft here, or in coming months ahead.

McConnell is 31, and with the emergence of Tyrese Haliburton, and Andrew Nembhard being a player who needs valuable reps in years to come, one would assume McConnell could be on the move in the near future. Indiana is rebuilding, and McConnell could be a viable trade candidate.

The Cavaliers have possible trade chips in players such as Isaac Okoro, Cedi Osman (whose deal is non-guaranteed for 2023-24), and future second-round picks they could use in trades this offseason, so maybe they’d consider dealing for McConnell.

Perhaps Rubio, with his 2024-25 deal only partially-guaranteed for $4.25 million, Okoro, Cleveland’s 2023 second-rounder, and another future second-rounder could be a framework of a deal for McConnell and Chris Duarte, alternatively?

Duarte’s role fluctuated last season after a promising rookie year, but he was involved in trade rumors, and could seemingly become available, so maybe Indiana would value Okoro’s defense and pick up an asset or two for him/McConnell. Rubio could still be a nice veteran to have for a season, too, for what it’s worth.

Overall, while it wouldn’t be a splashy acquisition, McConnell would inject life into the Cavaliers bench, and would be a great trade target this offseason.

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He did miss most of the 2021-22 season due to a wrist injury, but he’s been available for the vast majority of the other seven seasons of his career, also dating to his first four seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers. His two-way skill set could be a welcomed addition to Cleveland.