In this trade, the Pacers trade out of their 13th pick, in exchange for both of the Rockets’ later picks, while giving up T.J. Warren for Eric Gordon. Warren played in just 4 games of the 2020-21 season as a result of a foot injury and had a bit of a disappointing campaign, averaging just 15.5 points and not making a single 3-point shot.
But Warren flashed his ability to score at ease during the NBA’s bubble, as he averaged 34.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists on 60.5% shooting, 55.6% from three, and 88.9% from the free throw line. Warren did this all on a much higher usage, because of the Pacers’ injury to Domantas Sabonis.
So why exactly would the Pacers trade Warren, you ask? Warren is coming off of an injury and there’s no guarantee that he’ll return to his bubble form. In fact, although Warren was averaging 18.7 points per game before the league’s stoppage, which was a career-best to that point, which is partly why the bubble version of himself was a shock to many.
In addition, Warren is entering his final year of his contract, which isn’t great timing to be coming off of an injury. I know you’re thinking there’s no way that the Pacers would move their 27-year-old star, and I too agree that they’ll surely try and keep Warren out of any trade (especially one for Gordon, although two 1st-round picks could be tempting).
For this reason, this proposal doesn’t make the cut.