The Phoenix Suns have traded small forward T.J. Warren and the 32nd overall pick to the Indiana Pacers for cash, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday.
“Suns wanted to unload the three years, $35 million Warren’s deal to create space,” Wojnarwoski added.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks reported that the Suns are expected to finalize the trade on July 6, when the Pacers will have room to absorb Warren’s contract. Phoenix is expected to have $21 million in cap space after the trade.
Warren, 25, has spent all five of this NBA seasons with the Suns since being drafted by them No. 14 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft.
A known bucket-getter from his time at North Carolina State, Warren struggled to break into the rotation for his rookie season. Warren was having a breakout season of sorts in his second year, averaging 11.0 points per game off the bench in 47 games before breaking his right foot and being ruled out the rest of the season.
Warren established himself in year three, scoring 14.4 points and grabbing 5.1 rebounds per game in 66 games played (59 starts).
While Warren hadn’t necessarily had a huge year for the Suns, the franchise still decided to sign Warren to an extension in the 2017 offseason before he would hit restricted free agency. That was a four-year, $50 million deal that kicked in starting last season.
Warren made Phoenix look wise in doing so. He averaged a career-high 19.6 points a night while maintaining his usual elite efficiency of right around 50% shooting from the field. During that season, though, Warren missed time due to what the team would describe as a minor head injury.
Last season, Warren surprised many by expanding his game as a 3-point shooter, posting a tremendous 42.8% mark on over four attempts a game. Once again, injuries would shorten Warren’s season, this time a bone bruise in his right ankle that had him miss the last 33 games of the season.