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Pacers expected to keep T.J. McConnell for another season

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Indiana Pacers v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers are expected to keep T.J. McConnell for the upcoming season, according to J. Michael of the Indy Star.

That means Indiana will pay him $3.5 million to stick around as opposed to $1 million to buy him out.

The 28-year-old averaged a decent 6.5 points, 5.0 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per game last season, while shooting 52 percent from the field and 29 percent from 3.

Those aren’t the greatest numbers, but Michael wrote that McConnell “is a lock to return given the Pacers’ affinity for his professionalism, hustle and attitude despite his lack of 3-point shooting and having an undersized backcourt when he plays beside Aaron Holiday.”

The Pacers went 45-28 in the regular-season before being bounced by the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Indiana hired a new head coach, replacing Nate McMillan with Toronto Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren.

This will be McConnell’s sixth season in the NBA after going undrafted out of Arizona in 2015. He spent the first four years of his career with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 2020-21 season is expected to start on Dec. 22, about two months later than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic. Free agency is supposed to start Nov. 20-22.