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Pacers’ T.J. McConnell has surgery on hand, out at least a few months

Indiana Pacers v Utah Jazz

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - NOVEMBER 11: T.J. McConnell #9 of the Indiana Pacers in action during a game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on November 11, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

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T.J. McConnell has been this season what he has been for a few seasons now — a solid backup point guard the Pacers’ coach can lean on 20+ minutes a night.

Except Rick Carlise will have to get by without McConnell for a few months.

The optimistic end of timeline would have McConnell back mid-March, and at that point the Pacers may choose to sit him the rest of the season. Especially considering Indiana is open to trading some of its star players to jumpstart a rebuild.

McConnell could be traded as well, although it’s more likely to happen next offseason than at the deadline after this injury. After this season, McConnell will have three years at a very reasonable $26.1 million remaining on his contract, and the last season of that is only partially guaranteed ($5 million). Teams looking for depth at the one may jump at the chance to land him.

But not until he gets healthy.