Houston Rockets Free Agent Forward #1 T.J. Warren
The best free agent forward also comes with the most risk. T.J. Warren has played four games over the past two seasons as a persistent foot issue has derailed his career. However, we’re talking about a player who averaged 19.3 points per game on 50.9% shooting and 37.9% shooting from three in his three seasons prior to injury.
Warren is a certified bucket getter, won’t turn 30 until next season, and will likely be looking for a short-term deal to rebuild his value. The Rockets should pounce on an opportunity like this. If Warren can’t stay healthy, it’s a one year deal, but if he is the same old player he was before his injury, then he instantly becomes a valuable trade chip.
The Rockets should pursue Warren with a simple pitch. We’ll help rebuild your value, we won’t push you physically, and when contenders come ringing, we’ll move you to a good situation. The Oklahoma City Thunder have done this masterfully during their rebuild.
Warren has the ability to play both small and power forward. A four man forward rotation of Warren, Jae’Sean Tate, Tari Eason, and Jabari Smith is a perfect blend of skill sets. The Rockets shouldn’t break the bank to land Warren, but he’s clearly the best option on the market. He’s good, won’t command a long or sizeable deal, and fits into the current roster.
It has been a while, but when Warren is on, he feels like an inevitability. Some guys can just make the ball go in the hoop, and that’s T.J. Warren. Seeing if he still has it is an avenue the Rockets should explore.