NBA

T.J. Warren available to make season debut Dec. 2 vs. Raptors after missing past two years

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Brooklyn Nets forward T.J. Warren is officially available to make his season debut on Dec. 2 against the Toronto Raptors after missing the past two years due to injury, according to the team’s updated injury report. Warren has not played since Dec. 29, 2020, when he was a member of the Indiana Pacers. In early 2021, he underwent surgery for a navicular stress fracture in his foot. He has not played in a game since, missing the majority of the 2020-21 season and all of the 2021-22 season as a result of the injury.

Warren was coming into his own as a player before the injury. He averaged 31 points per game in the Orlando bubble, earning All-Bubble First Team honors for the Pacers. However, the injury bug bit him before the Pacers even left the bubble. He missed the last two regular season games the Pacers played in Orlando, and the shortened offseason couldn’t have helped him recover. Given the medical red flags he still presented, Warren could only find a minimum-salary offer from the Nets as a free agent over the summer.

His return would give this Nets team a sorely needed shot in the arm. Brooklyn is 12-11 through 23 games and has struggled to cultivate meaningful depth behind Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons. Journeymen like Yuta Watanabe and Edmond Sumner have stepped into important roles, but the Nets could really use some extra firepower and defensive versatility.

That, theoretically, is what Warren provides. The last time we saw him, he was scoring from just about everywhere on the floor, and his time with the Pacers saw him improve into a significantly better overall defender at both forward spots. The Nets still have a long way to go to regain their status as contenders, but Warren’s return should be a step in the right direction.



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