T.J. Warren was an attractive name some Cleveland Cavaliers wanted but passing on him was the right call.
While we don’t know the financial details as of press time, the Brooklyn Nets have agreed to a one-year deal with T.J. Warren, bringing him over from the Indiana Pacers. The former Phoenix Suns lottery pick started to show potential in Indiana, but he got injured and missed the last two seasons, save for just four games. While he showed progress after arriving from Phoenix, the two full years of missed time, coupled with the injury history he’s previously had, made passing on him the right call.
This didn’t sit well with many fans, though, as he did fit the prototypical idea for a three-and-D wing. Considering a lot of people think the Cavs need someone like Warren, the decision to not get Warren was a hard pill to swallow.
Lauri Markkanen is more than fine in the role and was a solid defender all things considered, but there is a question of depth, especially with the conversation surrounding Collin Sexton and Isaac Okoro. Sexton may not be on the team this coming season and Okoro has been a tough pill to swallow offensively for the last two years.
Despite there being some need at the forward spot, Warren wasn’t the guy.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were right to pass on T.J. Warren
The Cavs may not have been able to afford T.J. Warren firstly, let’s be clear about that. We don’t know what Warren signed for and the Cavs are pretty much all tapped out financially. Secondly, the injuries are a huge issue. He’s never played more than 67 games in a season for his entire career.
Now he has to deal with a major foot injury and the recovery from that. He may not be able to, to be clear. He might never be the player he once was. So to invest in a roster spot for him is just a bad idea. This team has too much potential depth to waste it on a 29-year-old with a history of injuries. That’s key, this team is potentially very deep without him, and you don’t want to sacrifice minutes from the youth to give it to a guy who may not even be able to play.
Finally, he’s never been a good player historically. He had two good years from 2018-2022. That’s it. That’s the entirety of the reason fans like him. More specifically, only one of those seasons, 2019-2020, did Warren look good defensively.
It’s far more likely that Warren returns to his 11-14 point per game self, shooting 29% from three and playing subpar defense than it is him maintaining his former level of production in 2019.
Passing on Warren made all the sense in the world.