The T.J. Warren situation is scary for the Indiana Pacers

T.J Warren - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
T.J Warren - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

T.J. Warren and the Indiana Pacers announced that there have been some hiccups in his recovery from the foot injury that kept him out last season. The stress fracture is healing but not at the rate in which the team expected, leaving Warren with a puzzling future.

As of right now, Warren remains out indefinitely with training camp just a few weeks away. This looks to be another case of unfortunate news for the Pacers as they head into a new season with lofty expectations.

The T.J. Warren injury is a killer for the Indiana Pacers

Given just how poorly the Indiana Pacers looked without Warren in the lineup last season, this is a devastating blow. There is no telling exactly how long he will be out but the season begins in a little over a month. If Warren is unavailable to start the new campaign, Indiana will struggle.

Indiana has a good sense of depth behind Warren with Oshae Brissett, Chris Duarte, and Justin Holiday providing a blend of youth and experience but they do not compare to what he brings on the offensive end. Warren is capable of being the team’s top scorer that can get a bucket from anywhere on the floor.

If he continues to improve his defense, Warren could be the key in turning the Pacers back into a playoff threat this season. Now, the entire season looks like it could be in jeopardy for a team that hired Rick Carlisle to help them win right now.

The most upsetting part of this news is the severity of the injury and how it could alter the team’s plans for the future. The stress fracture in Warren’s foot is the type of injury that could linger for the rest of his career and keep him on a strict schedule of resting certain nights. That injury has been common among big men but anything with the feet and lower body are difficult to overcome.

For Warren’s sake, this was a chance for him to earn a massive contract next summer but another prolonged injury could force him to take a significantly lower offer. He needed to prove that he could be a go-to guy in the NBA but limited action and injury concerns are not going to make that easy.

The Pacers may benefit from the injury long-term if they can use it to decrease Warren’s value and get him back on a cheaper deal. Indiana will be a little strapped for cash when seeking an extension for Warren but using his string of injuries as a factor could drive his price way down.

That would be nice for the Pacers but it comes with a lot of questions. They have to be sure that they are comfortable with his injury situation and be content with paying him long-term despite having Chris Duarte on the roster.

This is a very concerning situation for Warren. His future rides on this season and if he cannot get back to his old self soon, he and the Pacers could be in for a long season.

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