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TJ McConnell’s role with the Pacers will be to push Aaron Holiday

Pacers, Aaron Holiday, TJ McConnell

When the Indiana Pacers signed TJ McConnell to a two-year, $7 million contract, they did so with the intention of his role being the third-string point guard.

While McConnell is not going to be a regular member of the Pacers’ rotation, he is still going to be an important member of the team. Head coach Nate McMillan told Nathan Brown of the IndyStar that McConnell was brought in to ‘push’ Aaron Holiday and the team’s other guards.

“He brings it everyday, not just pushing Aaron (Holiday) and the rest of our guards, but pushing himself, pushing the pace and the tempo. He just brings that type of energy to the floor,” McMillan said.

“But we made it clear when we recruited him that his role, Aaron was going to be that guy that started as far as the backup. He wasn’t coming here to compete for minutes, and he understood he’d be the third guard, but we want him to push our guards. In doing that, he’ll probably get the opportunity to play.”

Holiday is coming off a rookie season with averages of 5.9 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists. He filled the third-string point guard role last season, but he showed flashes of his potential when he received playing time.

Going up against TJ McConnell in practice should only help Holiday to raise his game to a needed level. 

Holiday’s play for the Pacers last season was enough for other teams to view him as an attractive trade target. Indiana received trade calls for the UCLA product around the time of February’s trade deadline and even around the NBA Draft.