The Indiana Pacers are optimistic that forward t.j. warren can return this season in late December or early January, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The forward has been out with a foot injury after missing all but four games in the 2020-2021 NBA season.

After a decent start to his career in Phoenix, Warren was traded to Indiana for a new environment. Here, he had respectable season averages of 19.8 points per game on efficient shooting. The 2020 NBA Bubble proved to be even better for the NC State product, as he averaged 31 points per night and was named to the All-Bubble First Team. He looked to be a vital member of a Pacers team looking to go further into the playoffs.

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Without Warren in the 2021-2022 NBA season, the Pacers are currently 4-7. Led by big man Domantas Sabonis and guard Malcolm Brogdon, the team seems to be treading mediocre status once again. The return of a scoring threat like Warren could change the fortunes of a team that is quite stagnant. The combination of defensive minded guards, versatile big men, and shotmaking players could push the Pacers over the edge, making them a top team in the Eastern Conference instead of a play-in tournament team.