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#pounditThursday, June 24, 2021

Report: TJ Warren requested trade from Pacers because of head coach

TJ Warren

Nate Bjorkgren seems all but doomed as Indiana Pacers head coach, and one of his star players would apparently like to see him pack his bags as well.

Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported on Thursday that Pacers forward TJ Warren requested a trade from the team when news of Bjorkgren’s hire became public. Warren previously played under Bjorkren in Phoenix.

Fischer adds that Warren’s representation has denied that he made such a request. But Warren has been out since December after undergoing season-ending foot surgery. The report originally stated that Warren was believed to have opted for the procedure in part to avoid playing for Bjorkgren.

Warren did respond to the report on Twitter, saying, “Don’t use me to push false narratives.”

The first-year head coach Bjorkgren is quickly losing his grasp on the Pacers. They are barely in play-in territory right now at 30-35. Bjorkgren now looks likely to be fired after the season. Fischer notes that Pacers executives Kevin Pritchard and Chad Buchanan may be in jeopardy too due to Bjorkgren’s struggles. Bjorkgren’s abrasive approach with both players and staff is cited as a major point of contention.

As for Warren, his voice definitely matters. He was Indiana’s breakout star of the Orlando bubble and may be the best pure scorer on their roster. But using surgery to avoid playing sounds like something straight out of Kyrie Irving’s playbook.

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