Canadian and former Toronto Raptor, Oshae Brissett, has an excellent opportunity to thrive with the Indiana Pacers after he signed a 10- day contract on Thursday.
The newly inked deal will reunite Brissett with Pacers’ head coach and former Raptors assistant coach, Nate Bjorkgren. The duo spent time together during Brissett’s 19 games with Toronto during the 2019-20 season. Their previous connection is just one reason why Indiana is a great fit for the second year pro out of Syracuse.
Brissett earned a call up to the NBA after a terrific season in the G League with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. He was named to the All-G League Second Team and finished third in the running for the most improved player award. He led his team in scoring with 18.6 points per game and was a consistent double-double producer in the G League Orlando bubble.
In addition to his previous NBA experience and his elite play in the G League, Brissett is positioned for success with Bjorkgren as his coach. Currently, the Pacers sit just outside a playoff spot with a roster that lacks the same amount of talent as some of the NBA’s best. Many critics and analysts have attributed the team’s success to the creative and intelligent coaching style of Bjorkgren, particularly during the team’s great start to the season. Indiana players have also been vocal about their respect for Bjorkgren’s systems and positivity. Myles Turner is one such player that has seen his game flourish under the guidance of his new head coach.
Not only is Bjorkgren demonstrating his strong coaching abilities with the Pacers this season, but he also gives younger and more inexperienced players opportunities to grow. Pacers’ rookie, Cassius Stanley, and second-year center, Goga Bitadze, have both been given important minutes during games this season. Although their minutes may be limited, Bjorkgren understands the importance of giving his entire bench meaningful minutes to help keep them ready and prepared for whatever an NBA season may throw at a roster. Brissett will likely be given the opportunity to demonstrate his basketball skills, especially with the recent injuries to the Pacers’ lineup.
Brissett was one of the final cuts of the Toronto Raptors prior to the start of the season. The Toronto native’s offseason knee surgery may have hindered his abilities to shine in a shortened NBA preseason. Despite the disappointment, Brissett seized his opportunity with the Pacers’ G League affiliate and demonstrated his NBA potential. He was a clear bright spot for the Mad Ants who unfortunately failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Brissett went back and forth between the Toronto Raptors and their G League affiliate, Raptors 905 during his time with the organization. He was a strong defender and showed flashes of his offensive talent. With more experience now under his belt, and a coach that has his best interests, Brissett may stick around with the Pacers for longer than 10-days.
The Pacers next game is against the Charlotte Hornets Friday night at 8pm EST.
Written by Connor Lamont