TJ Warren scored a lot of points for the Phoenix Suns during his time in the Valley before the team traded him to the Indiana Pacers this summer. After one preseason game where he put up 30 points, some Suns fans are going through trade regret.
We’ve all been there. Whether it is an old collectible you didn’t realize held so much sentimental value, a car that worked better than your new one, or a fantasy football trade that looked better before you clicked the accept button, we’ve all experienced seller’s remorse. TJ Warren’s 30 point preseason performance against the Sacramento Kings gave many Phoenix Suns fans exactly that.
The Indiana Pacers battled the Sacramento Kings in the NBA’s first trip to India in the first of two preseason games there.
While I, personally, am extremely jealous of the food these guys get to have on this trip, my guess is many of these young 20-somethings who grew up eating cheeseburgers won’t have an appetite or gastrointestinal tolerance for lamb curry or chicken tikka masala.
Regardless, NBA players’ Indian meal plan is not what turned heads in the United States. It was former Phoenix Suns forward, TJ Warren, putting up a game-high 30 points in an overtime, come-from-behind victory over the Kings.
The Suns traded TJ Warren and the 32nd overall pick in next year’s draft to the Pacers to clear cap space in a transaction the Indiana executive team thought was a joke at first.
They might still be laughing after TJ’s Pacer preseason debut.
The Suns cleared TJ’s remaining three years and 35 million dollar salary from their books with the trade, but they also cleared his 18 points per game from their books as well.
However, even with that scoring average, TJ Warren always seemed like he was vying for a role within the Phoenix Suns lineup that wasn’t there. Whether he started or came off the bench, he always put up points he never fully jelled with everyone.
His meager 1.5 assists per game may back that observation up.
The official Valley of the Suns Twitter account posted a poll asking fans whether or not the team will miss him.
After over 500 votes, 64% of responders said the Phoenix Suns will at least miss him some.
A few reasons why this might be an overreaction:
First, he still isn’t passing the ball. In a game where the Pacers put up 132 points, leading scorer TJ Warren only posted one assist. That it. One.
After playing 33 minutes, you would think at least two assists would happen by accident.
Secondly, Victor Oladipo didn’t play. Oladipo is still rehabbing from a knee injury that knocked him out last season, but when he returns, he will lead the Pacers in scoring. To Warren’s credit, he is making the most of this expanded role, but don’t expect it to last once Oladipo returns.
Finally, not only was this a preseason game, it was a preseason game in India. It marked the first time the country has ever hosted an NBA game, and whether the league instructed them to do so or not, there was an impetus to put on a show.
Just look at the score: 132-131. At the very least, players may have treated it kind of like an open gym where they weren’t looking to be double teamed, they were working on their game. Their offensive game that is.
The quality of defense wasn’t as bad as you might see at an All-Star game or even at the AAU level, but guys weren’t exactly challenging every shot either.
Time will tell whether or not the Phoenix Suns were right to ship off TJ Warren, but one overseas preseason game, official trade regret does not make. Everyone should wait until after the season before they allow seller’s remorse to fully take hold.