Just two weeks away from training camp, the Brooklyn Nets are gearing up for a run at securing the NBA championship... again.
Strapped with limited opportunities — just vets minimum contracts and the (still unused!) taxpayer mid-level exception — to due to luxury tax constraints, GM Sean Marks still had to field a balanced and deep roster that can sustain the rigors of the NBA season. Yet despite the twin sagas of KD and Kyrie, Brooklyn’s front office had itself one heck of an offseason, first snagging two-way wing Royce O’Neale and extending flyer-type deals to Markieff Morris and Yuta Watanabe.
But perhaps Marks’ most exciting pickup and certainly the one with the highest upside was T.J. Warren, who agreed to a one-year veteran’s minimum level contract a few days into free agency.
The 6’8” 29-year-old is just two seasons removed from averaging a shade below 20 points per game as a starter on a playoff team in Indiana ... and a 31-point average in the “bubble, including a 53-point effort. Since then, a litany of foot issues has kept Warren sidelined, appearing in just four regular-season games since the start of the 2020-21 season.
For the latest edition of Scouting New Nets, we’ll be taking a look at what Warren brings to the table using footage from his last full season...
1:00 Offense - Warren has always been a tremendous talent in the midrange, but what has allowed T.J. to ascend into higher territory as a role player is by stretching his range. He’s also a tremendous off-ball player, both as a cutter and as a transition threat.
5:47 Defense - Defensively, Warren brings a dogged mentality when guarding opponents in space, playing close up into his matchups with regularity. He’s not especially adept at evading screens, though Brooklyn’s switching scheme may mitigate this weakness. Still, fans shouldn’t expect Warren to do much as a rebounder.
General takeaways - Assuming he’s able to reprise at least some of what he brought to the table as a starter for the Pacers, T.J. Warren could be a massive steal for the Brooklyn Nets. He is the perfect ancillary piece next to the stars due to his ability to succeed away from the ball, and Brooklyn’s defensive scheme could prompt a titillating performance from Warren as an overall defender.