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INDIANAPOLISAs expected, the Indiana Pacers had a relatively quiet start (and finish) to free agency.

Bringing back T.J. McConnell, yet not having enough money to retain Doug McDermott, was always the most likely path for Indiana in free agency.

The Pacers did sign veteran wing Torrey Craig on the wing to help off-set the loss of McDermott.

Here’s a look at what the Pacers did on Monday:

 

G-T.J. McConnell (Reported deal: 4 years, $35 million with Pacers)

A fan favorite is returning to the Indiana Pacers this year.

McConnell, 29, had a career-year last season.

He averaged 8.6 points and 6.6 assists while producing 1.9 steals per game in playing around 26 minutes off the bench.

With Aaron Holiday traded to Washington last week, the Pacers definitely needed to re-sign McConnell.

No one else on the Pacers roster has much point guard history, let alone a guy like McConnell, who was tremendous last season in playing with pace and often changing the game with his pestering full-court defensive presence.

Malcolm Brogdon’s name has been thrown around as a potential trade candidate, but such a move would mean Indiana will have to do something else to find a starting point guard.

Caris LeVert did play some point guard last season.

Given the current roster makeup, McConnell should still have a consistent 20-to-25 minute role off the bench for Indiana.

 

F-Doug McDermott (Reported deal: 3 years, $42 million with Spurs)

The Pacers would have had to do some pretty wacky cap things to have enough money to bring back Doug McDermott for a second contract.

McDermott had a career-year last season in Indiana, scoring 13.6 points in averaging 24.5 minutes per game off the bench.

After starting 14 games in his previous 6 NBA seasons, McDermott started 29 games for Indiana in the 2020-21 season.

His volume really rose offensively, becoming a consistent and needed scoring presence.

With McDermott gone, the Pacers will turn to around 3-4 wings that will earn playing time off the bench.

Assuming Indiana can move Jeremy Lamb before the start of the season, McDermott, Edmond Sumner, Justin Holiday, rookie Chris Duarte and freshly signed Torrey Craig are likely to account for the vast majority of shooting guard and small forward minutes.

Indiana’s second unit should still have a good amount of shooting, but the consistency of McDermott and the threat he was on a scouting report will be missed.

 

F-Torrey Craig (Reported deal: 2 years, $10 million with Pacers)

Indiana didn’t have room to do a whole lot on the open market.

But they are adding Craig, who brings that ‘3 and d’ presence, while playing for both NBA finalists last season.

Craig, 30, is 6-7 and 221 pounds and has knocked home 33.1 percent of his threes in his 4 NBA seasons.

Undrafted out of South Carolina State, Craig played overseas before joining the Nuggets in 2017. After playing in Denver for three seasons, Craig played last season for Milwaukee and Phoenix last season. Craig brings a good amount of playoff experience to the Pacers, something this roster lacks.

With Indiana, Craig will likely continue to come off the bench (he has started 77 of 222 career games) and offers some versatility as another veteran body at the small forward/power forward spots.

It’s going to be a competitive battle to earn minutes in the second unit, assuming the Pacers stay healthy.