Nets forward T.J. Warren is officially set to make his season debut Friday vs. the Toronto Raptors.
Warren played just four games over the last two seasons while undergoing several surgeries to repair a navicular stress fracture in his left foot, last appearing on Dec. 29, 2020. The 29-year-old signed with Brooklyn on a minimum contract this summer.
When healthy, Warren offers a high-level secondary shot creator. The North Carolina State product poured in 19.8 points per game on 40.3 percent shooting from 3-point range in his last full season with Indiana. At 6-foot-8 with above-average ball handling and a soft touch, Warren offers a true three-level scorer, something the Nets do not currently have outside of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
In addition to his shot creation, Warren’s effectiveness as a cutter and spot-up shooter in Indiana bode well for his fit in Brooklyn. The former lottery pick converted on 42.1 percent of his catch-and-shoot triples over his last two seasons.
Warren was one of the league’s top performers during the 2020 bubble in Orlando, averaging 26.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 10 games, including a 53-point outburst on 9-of-12 from 3-point land against Philadelphia.
T.J. Warren looking like the Bubble MVP in his first three games of the restart.
▫️53 PTS | 4 REB | 3 AST | 20-29 FG
▫️34 PTS | 11 REB | 4 AST | 14-26 FG
▫️32 PTS | 3 AST | 2 REB | 13-17 FG
That’s 39.7 PPG on 65.3% shooting from the field🤯pic.twitter.com/U1AaHizEkH
— ProCity Hoops (@ProCityHoops) August 5, 2020
The forward’s return comes with Brooklyn in severe need of size and versatility with Ben Simmons and Yuta Watanabe sidelined. Despite this, head coach Jacque Vaughn will ease Warren back into the rotation following such an extended layoff.
After a sluggish 1-5 start, a recent hot stretch has moved Brooklyn just 2.5 games back of third place in the Eastern Conference. The Nets have won six of their last eight and three straight to open a seven-game homestand.