Grade the trade: Bucks land reputable backup guard in swap with Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 29 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 29 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Pat Connaughton, Indiana Pacers: T.J. McConnell
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 16 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Grade the trade: Indiana Pacers’ point of view

Despite his struggles, Allen showed some flashes of potential in the playoffs. He’s pulled out a few big games, including a career playoff-high 27 points that saw the Bucks take down the Bulls to take a 3-1 series lead in what might be his only good playoff series with the team.

There are a few reasons why the Indiana Pacers might be willing to part ways with TJ McConnell to go get Grayson Allen, but the biggest argument would be what the Pacers need right now.

McConnell is a traditional point guard who is a good passer and defender, but his play style may be incongruent with the Pacers who are now very clearly investing in Tyrese Haliburton at that position. Allen is a more versatile player who can score from the perimeter and create his own shot.

Though there’s a lot to say about Grayson Allen’s playoff flameouts, it’s also hard to debate the fact that he’s won more than a handful of regular-season games for the Bucks with his balanced blend of scoring, floor-spacing, and defense. Every team in this league needs that specialist type of player who can space the floor, and Allen is arguably up there as proven by his 39.9 percent efficiency from behind the 3-point line and more than five attempts a night.

The Pacers might be looking for a player who can give them more scoring punch, while Allen could be a good complementary player to Haliburton, as he can play off the ball and score from the perimeter.

It’s also worth mentioning that McConnell is already aging at 31 years old and is entering the final year of his contract, which means it’s tough to find a way he fits into their current timeline with Tyrese Haliburton and Benedict Mathurin. Allen is 27 years old, doesn’t need the ball in his hands to find a role, and has two years left on his contract. The Pacers might be looking to get younger, develop their younger pieces, and have more financial flexibility in the future.

Looking at their depth chart, it would make sense for Indiana to want to give sophomore Andrew Nembhard some more run to develop him as their secondary point guard of the future. Past him, they also did just sign Bruce Brown, who’s more than capable of taking up that point-forward role handling the rock.