Eastern Conference GM Has Strong Message About Nets’ TJ Warren Return

Seth Curry, Kevin Durant, TJ Warren

Getty T.J. Warren #1 of the Brooklyn Nets high-fives teammate Kevin Durant #7 against the Toronto Raptors

The Brooklyn Nets are finally starting to build momentum and, as of December 3, have won five out of their last six NBA contests. Boosted by the return of Kyrie Irving, who has been playing at a high clip since returning from his team-issued suspension. However, it’s been a total team affair, and they are benefitting from strong play from Ben Simmons, who struggled early on this season. Things appear to be starting to click for the Nets, and the team got another welcome addition on Friday with the return of T.J. Warren. 

Warren was a rather underrated signing from the Nets this offseason. The forward has battled injuries which has left him only playing four games in the past three seasons, but with his premier scoring ability, he gives the Nets quite a bit of upside if he can return to form and a value price. 

Eastern Conference Exec. Warns About T.J. Warren Return

Warren returned to the court on December 2 at Barclays Center for his first game in a Nets uniform and played 17 minutes, scoring 10 points on 5-11 shooting while also grabbing four rebounds and a steal. The forward took to Twitter to share his feelings about being back after the game saying, “Thank you Brooklyn. Will never forget this day. Let’s keep it goin. Nets W”. 

While Warren is an exciting addition to the surging Nets team, one Eastern Conference GM spoke to Heavy Sports NBA Insider Sean Deveney, and talked about the ‘hard road back’ for Warren. 

“T.J. Warren has played four games in three years so, he has a lot to prove there. If he is anything like he was in the past, then yeah, I would say Watanabe will probably see his minutes cut back. But coming off that kind of layoff when you’re 29 years old, it is going to be a hard road back for him. It would be a nice story but the truth is, if he gives you anything you have to count yourself lucky. He is fighting for a job there,” an Eastern Conference GM told Heavy Sports. 

The executive explained that the Nets would be lucky if the contract ends up worth it for them and that the veteran forward would be fighting for his job. 

T.J. Warren on his Debut and What he Brings to Brooklyn

While the executive tempered expectations for Warren, his first game back against the Raptors was a strong suggestion that he may be able to come in and make a splash on the Nets’ second unit. He spoke after the game about what he brings to this Nets team in his return. 

“Just effort,” Warren said. “My ability to be versatile out there, be a two-way player, something I took pride in since coming into the NBA, being able to guard multiple guys. And just be able to be that three-level scorer at the same time and just try to feed off guys to just play hard, trying to be that contagious effort guy.

“Just being aggressive when I go out there, taking pressure off the guys and just being myself. I could always score in this league, so just staying aggressive as well as take pride in defending. Since I came in the league I heard the word two-way, two-way, two-way, so I just want to be one of those guys, a complete player on both ends giving effort. So just take pride in being a two-way player,” Warren said, via Brian Lewis of the New York Post

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