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Nets signing T.J. Warren to one-year deal

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Brooklyn Nets v Indiana Pacers Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

The Nets are back in the depressed asset business, taking a chance on combo forward T.J. Warren who missed most of the last two seasons with stress fractures to his left foot but before that was a reliable scorer and defender for the Pacers and Suns.

Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania had the news near simultaneously Tuesday morning...

The 28-year-old’s signing is a vets minimum deal. The move harkens back to what Brooklyn did in their rebuild, taking on injury-prone and/or otherwise disrespected players like Joe Harris, Spencer Dinwiddie, D’Angelo Russell and DeMarre Carroll.

The 6’8” Warren, who has career averages of 15.5 points and 4.2 rebounds, has had a tough run since the 2020-21 season, as Woj noted in a follow-up tweet.

Warren has only played four games in past two years with consecutive stress fractures in his left foot, but he’s recovering can help Nets at both forward spots. Warren averaged nearly 20 points on 53% from the field in 2020. At 29, he’ll be a free agent again next year.

Shams added on Bally TV that the Nets are big fans of Warren whether Kevin Durant stays of goes.

“With or without Kevin Durant, the Nets believe T.J. Warren is going to be big time acquisition for them. It’s going to be a one-year, minimum contract,” said Shams, adding Warren had interest from Dallas, Phoenix and Portland.

On March 17, Warren was ruled out for the remainder of the 2021–22 season. He had not played a game yet during the season. However, if healthy, he could fill one of the Nets needs being able to fill in at the 3 or 4. Before his first injury in December 2020, Warren was peaking as an NBA player.

In 2019-20, he averaged career highs in points (19.8) and steals (1.2) with shooting splits of 54/40/82. He particularly shone in the “Bubble” at DisneyWorld, having a career-high 53 points on 20-of-29 shooting (including 9-of-12 from deep) in a 127–121 win over the 76ers. He was named First Team All-Bubble after averaging 31 points in the eight games.

Here’s highlights from his 53-point game...

At the time he was declared out for the season in March, Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said this of his attitude.

“He had one of the most challenging years of rehab and trying to bring himself back that I’ve ever seen a player have,” Carlisle said. “He stayed positive. He stayed in the fight the entire time, and he is close. We obviously wish him the very, very best, and we’ll see where it goes from here in terms of when he’ll be back.”

The earliest the Nets can sign him is Wednesday, the first day that 2022 free agents can sign. The Nets so far have added Royce O’Neale, a 6’4” 3-and-D wing, acquired in a trade with the Jazz for a first rounder in 2023, and Alondes Williams, a 6’5” point guard out of Wake Forest on a two-way deal.

The Nets now have 12 players under contract, including Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, both of whom the Nets are expected to move.