An NBA season would not be complete without several underrated studs. Often, players all around the league have great seasons that seem to get no attention whatsoever. Whether it be because of the franchise they play for or who their teammates are, there is no doubt that these players deserve some recognition. The player highlighted in the fourth edition of the “Under the Radar” series is none other than TJ Warren.
After spending five seasons with the Phoenix Suns, Warren was traded to the Indiana Pacers for a bag of chips (in reality, he was traded for cash considerations, but really?) After becoming one of the better scorers in the NBA, Pacers fans were ecstatic to have him on board, especially with the injury to their beloved all-star Victor Oladipo. In the preseason, fans and analysts alike were shaky on how this Indiana team would fare without their best player. This is when Warren stepped up to the plate. Before the NBA season came to a close, Warren was averaging 19 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 1 assist on 53% shooting from the field. If this wasn’t enough, as the season went on, Warren began to start shooting from deep. He nailed 38% of his three-point attempts. Having already mastered scoring inside the three-point line, seeing Warren step out past it was certainly scary for opposing defenses. Having a player who is measured in at 6’8, weighing in at 216 lbs, and can shoot the rock is fairly hard to gameplan for.
Not only were Warren’s stats impressive, but he was also one of the main contributors to Indiana’s success without Oladipo. As of right now, the Indiana Pacers are 39-26, which is good enough for the fifth seed in the eastern conference. Along with Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon, Warren has helped immensely in the task of keeping this Pacers team afloat. Even when Oladipo found his way back to the court, Warren was able to hold his own. This alone shows the type of player Warren has evolved into since being selected as a lottery pick in the 2014 NBA draft.
Warren will most certainly be a contributing factor to this Pacers squad for years to come as their championship aspirations rise