Pacers Not Rushing To Extend Toppin, Nesmith, McConnell

The Pacers are in “no rush” regarding potential extensions for forwards Obi Toppin and Aaron Nesmith and guard T.J. McConnell, general manager Chad Buchanan told Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star and other media members.

Toppin was acquired during the summer from the Knicks to compete for the power forward spot. He’ll make $6.8MM this season and become a restricted free agent if he’s extended a qualifying offer after the season.

Nesmith started 60 of 73 games for the Pacers last season and appears set to be a regular rotation player again following the offseason trade of fellow wing Chris Duarte. Nesmith is in a similar spot as Toppin regarding his contract status. He’ll make $5.6MM this season and head into restricted free agency next season if a QO is offered.

“We’ll have conversations with their agents,” Buchanan said. “Obi is someone that we haven’t seen on our team yet. We’d like to see how things play out there. Aaron obviously has had one year with us and did a good job for us. It’s got to be the right situation for both sides. We’ll have those conversations but there’s no rush or anything to do something with those two guys in the short term.”

As for McConnell, the 31-year-old backup point man will make $8.7MM this season. His $9.3MM salary for next season is partially guaranteed for $5MM. His rotation spot is also in flux and Dopirak suggests the team may eventually look to trade him rather than extend him.

“T.J. is another guy who wants to play and he deserves to play,” Buchanan said. “He’s going to come in to compete. T.J. has had to compete for everything in his life. How that’s going to look, we don’t know yet, but I think he wants to be a Pacer. He’s happy being a Pacer. He wants to be here and that’s something we need to see play out and see where it goes.”

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