Pacers Make First Offseason Move In Trading For T.J. Warren


Pacers Make First Offseason Move In Trading For T.J. Warren

Blog > Kevin's Corner > Pacers Coverage > Pacers Make First Offseason Move In Trading For T.J. Warren

Pacers Make First Offseason Move In Trading For T.J. Warren

Right before the NBA Draft started on Thursday night, the Pacers traded for Suns forward T.J. Warren. Where does Warren fit to the Pacers puzzle?

Joe Robbins | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – Earlier this spring, Kevin Pritchard made sure everyone knew that there were other ways to use the more than $40 million in cap space than just strictly by signing guys in free agency.

Pritchard put that into action on Thursday night.

Just before the start of the 2019 NBA Draft, Indiana made a trade with Phoenix to acquire forward T.J. Warren. In return, the Pacers received Phoenix’s No. 32 pick in 2019 and will also absorb the remaining 3-year, $35 million contract of Warren’s. Plus, Indiana will send some cash to Suns.

This was an uneven trade that Pritchard mentioned as a possibility a few weeks back.

The trade cannot become official until July 6 and Indiana will still have north of $30 million in cap space in free agency this summer.

Sending cash and eating up some cap space for a possible starter, and receiving a decent draft pick, is a nice move for what is a pivotal offseason for Indiana.

Warren will come to Indiana after 5 seasons with Phoenix, who selected the former ACC Player of the Year out of North Carolina State with the 14th overall pick in 2014.

While durability has been a definite question with Warren, the Pacers are getting an athletic 6-8 forward who added a key dynamic to his game last season.

After shooting a woeful 28.3% percent from three in his first four seasons in the league, Warren knocked down 43% from behind the arc last year. That came on 4.2 attempts per game from three.

The Pacers have stated several times this offseason that adding shooting is a must. If Warren can continue to prove to be capable from long distance that gives the Pacers an intriguing offensive piece at one of their forward spots.

Before Warren found a consistent jumper from three last year, his game was a bit old school. He’s very skilled inside the arc, scoring in multiple ways, and has averaged double figures in 4 of his 5 seasons.

In today’s NBA, Warren can be a smaller power forward at 6-8 and 215 pounds, and he can also play more of a wing spot, too.

That’s important for a Pacers team with free agents at both of those positions in starters Bojan Bogdanovic and Thaddeus Young.

Depending on what happens over the next few weeks, Warren could very well be a starter in Indiana this coming winter.

Now, unlike Bogey and Young, Warren’s health has really hindered his availability on a nightly basis.

He’s played in just 261 of a possible 410 games in his career, including missing the final 33 games last year due to an ankle injury. Warren has played more than 50 games just twice in 5 years, and has never played more than 66 games in a season.

For his career, Warren has averaged 14.4 points per game and 4.1 rebounds. His rebounding numbers are a concern if you are projecting him into the starting lineup at the power forward spot, given Indiana’s recent struggles in that area.

While Warren lacks being an every night defensive presence or just consistent availability, he provides some varied scoring ability from the forward spot, which Indiana has lacked recently.

In 5 NBA seasons with the Suns, Warren never sniffed the playoffs. Phoenix was under .500 in all 5 of Warren’s years in the league, including winning less than 25 games in each of the last 4 seasons.

Pacers Coverage
In the 2019-20 season, the Indiana Pacers are counting on Malcolm Brogdon to be their starting point guard. What does Brogdon think of that role?
Pacers Coverage
Here are Kevin Pritchard and Malcolm Brogdon talking about the Pacers trying to pair Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner on the floor together this season.
Pacers Coverage
What went into the thinking behind the Pacers reconstructing a large chunk of their roster this summer? Kevin Pritchard weighs in on that thinking.
Pacers Coverage
This summer, the Pacers have comprised a new backcourt of the future. How will Malcolm Brogdon complement Victor Oladipo in the Pacers backcourt?
Pacers Coverage
Here are the Pacers thoughts on where T.J. Warren fits into the new-look roster, plus some comments from the former lottery pick.