Indiana Pacers: Team in Better Shape with Warren over Bogdanovic

T.J. Warren, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
T.J. Warren, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With a half season to assess the difference, it’s time to look how the Indiana Pacers have fared by trading in Bojan Bogdanovic for T.J. Warren.

Near the mid-way point of the season, and after just being burnt by Bojan Bogdanovic, what better time to compare where the Indiana Pacers sat last year compared to this season.

Sure, when Bogdanovic made his free agency trek to Utah, and when undisputed leader Thaddeus Young took a similar trip up I-65, there were some concerns. There is no doubt, that the losses have been felt. However, adding T.J. Warren to fill one of those gaps has eased that pain tremendously.

In some ways, Warren is actually a better fit for Indiana than Bogdanovic, who is arguably the more talented scorer. Sure, the Pacers are taking more threes this season. However, a Nate McMillan team will never house a run-and-gun offense. While he got better during each season in Indiana, Bogdanovic has taken his game to new heights with the Jazz. It would have been very difficult for him to continue to make this progression in the Hoosier state.

Similar to Bogdanovic, Warren has taken huge strides since joining the Pacers. The latter is shooting 51 percent from the floor this season. He is doing most of this damage on mid-range looks, which is better aligned to McMillan’s offensive scheme.

Though Jimmy Butler had a differing opinion, Warren provides a level of toughness as well. That is not to say that Bogdanovic did not, but Warren just shows real grit.

Additionally, shedding the money that they would have otherwise paid Bogdanovic, Indiana was able to add Malcolm Brogdon. Along with Domantas Sabonis, Brogdon has been the biggest difference maker in the absence of Victor Oladipo.

With four years, $73 million for Bogdanovic and four years, $85 million for Brogdon, the Pacers are looking at very similar numbers. When adding in what Young made with the Bulls, Warren’s $10+ million per year pushes the math in the Pacers favor.

Is there anyone out there who wouldn’t trade Bogdanovic and Young for the more youthful Warren and Brogdon? Additionally, clearing Young made for more time with Sabonis and Myles Turner together. The two have made another jump in plus/minus, as they have in each year they have played together.

While not claiming to be a complete Kevin Pritchard apologist and shill, his off-season moves are what has allowed this team to be where they are. He pushed the right buttons. Now, with Oladipo returning next week, the true test is on the horizon.

Next. Can the Pacers become Road Warriors?. dark

However you want to look at it, last season’s squad was not able to sustain in the absence of Oladipo. This year’s squad has. Based on this, there is only one correct answer in the Bogdanovic versus Warren debate.