Indiana Pacers guard T.J. Warren averaged 18 points, four rebounds, and 1,5 assists per game as a member of the Phoenix Suns last season. Before the start of the 2019 NBA Draft, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Suns and Pacers agreed to a deal that sent Warren and the 32nd pick (KZ Okpala) and cash considerations. The Suns would later send Okapala to Miami in a separate trade. As for the Pacers, they did not have to send any trade assets to the Suns in return. However, they did have to absorb Warren’s contract that has three years left worth $35 million.
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Last season he averaged 18ppg on 48.6% from the field & the year b4 that he averaged 19.6ppg on 49.8%. It just shows that being in a small market def hurts a players notoriety, because TJ is SUPER underrated! Excited to see him with the Pacers next season. 📸 @harrington1313
This summer Warren has taken part in Chris Brickley’s Blackops Basketball runs in New York City. The runs have included other NBA players such as Trae Young, Dennis Smith Jr., Carmelo Anthony, Jr. Smith, Jaren Jackson, Rondae Hollis Jefferson, Lance Stevenson, Derrick Williams, and even J Cole.
According to Brickley, Warren’s notoriety has been hurt due to him playing in a small market. Before averaging 18 points, four rebounds, and 1,5 assists per game last season, two years ago, he posted 19.6 points per game on 49.8% shooting.
“T.J Warren is a bucket!! Last season he averaged 18ppg on 48.6% from the field & the year b4 that he averaged 19.6ppg on 49.8%. It just shows that being in a small market def hurts a players notoriety because TJ is SUPER underrated! Excited to see him with the Pacers next season.”
Some may say players such as Dame Lillard, C.J McCollum, and Nikola Jokić haven’t received the recognition they deserve because they play in small markets like Portland and Denver. In the past, Damian Lillard has been very vocal about not being named to the All-Star team in 2015. He even released a song about it called “They Sleep.” In the single, he detailed exactly how he was feeling at the time.
“Lemme holla at y’all bout a few things quick / I’m as humble as they come, but my shoe game lit / I ain’t make the all-Stars but I’m flu game sick / Last time they count me out, what I do? Game 6 … ”
I’m definitely going to take it personally. I said I’d be pissed off about it and I am. I just felt disrespected because I play the game the right way, I play unselfishly, I play for my team to win games and I produce at a high level. I think what I bring to the game as a person, my make up mentally, how I am towards my teammates, how I am towards the media, how I am towards the fans, what an All-Star represents in this league, what you would want people looking at in an All-Star, I think I make up all those things.
For me to be having the type of season I’m having, better than any I’ve had before, and for my team to be third in the Western Conference, I just see it as disrespectful. I’m not one of those guys who’s going to say, ‘I should be over this guy or that guy.’ I’m not a hater. I have respect for each guy who made the roster, and they deserve to, but at the same time, I feel really disrespected, man. That’s honestly how I feel.” Transcribe by SB Nations’ Kristian Winfield.
However, Lillard would later get his chance to represent the Western Conference in 2015, because of Los Angeles Lakers’ guard Kobe Bryant had to withdraw due to injury.