Sports

T.J. Warren Is The Perfect Addition For The Nets

T.J. Warren #1 of the Indiana Pacers passes around Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat during the second half of a first round playoff game at The Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 24, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
(Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)

 

It is no secret that the Brooklyn Nets are in turmoil right now.

Not too long ago, they were being considered the NBA’s next great team, as they brought in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in 2019, then traded for James Harden early in the 2020-21 season.

But Irving and Durant have won just one playoff series together, and now both want out.

It looks like the so-called Irving-Durant era is coming to an end in Brooklyn, but it reportedly could end up receiving All-Star Donovan Mitchell in a multi-team Durant trade, which would be a nice way for the team to land on its feet.

At any rate, on Tuesday the Nets signed free agent forward T.J. Warren, a man whose stock has gone down due to injury.

However, not too long ago, he was a rising commodity around the NBA, and if he stays healthy and regains his mojo, he will be a steal for a beleaguered Nets franchise.

 

Warren Developed Into Quite A Complementary Player

After the Phoenix Suns took Warren with the 14th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, he gradually developed into a reliable piece.

His rookie season was quiet, but starting in the 2016 campaign, he showed his ability to hit from the outside by shooting 40 percent from 3-point range.

Although that percentage fell greatly the following two seasons, his scoring average increased from 11 points a game in 2016 to 14.4 the following year and 19.6 in 2018.

In the 2018-19 campaign, Warren put up 18 points per contest while improving his 3-point accuracy to 42.8 percent, which has thus far been his high-water mark in that category.

That summer, he was moved by the Suns in a multi-team trade to the Indiana Pacers, a team that felt it was starting to build a winning roster.

In 2020, he not only averaged 19.8 points a game while shooting a career-high 53.6 percent from the field, but he got hot late in the season.

After the season was postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Warren was a beast during the seeding games that took place in the Walt Disney World Resort bubble, averaging 31 points and shooting an incredible 52.4 percent from beyond the arc during that span.

He peaked in his first game in the bubble when he erupted for 53 points on 20-of-29 shooting and 9-of-12 from downtown versus the Philadelphia 76ers.

 

He Has The Opportunity To Bounce Back

Early in the 2020-21 season, disaster struck Warren when he suffered a stress fracture in the navicular bone of his left foot that would require surgery.

He missed all but four games that year, as well as all of this past season due to the injury.

With the Nets, Warren will likely get plenty of playing time if Durant is indeed moved, and they will need him to assert himself offensively if they’re to remain at least a respectable team.

In that sense, his new deal will essentially be a “prove it” deal, and if he is even 80-90 percent of who he was prior to his foot injury, he could earn himself a nice payday next summer.




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