KEY POINTS

  • T.J. Warren is playing out his contract with the Indiana Pacers and has shut down trade rumors
  • Nate Bjorkgren is expected to be let go after this NBA season, a report says
  • Warren is likely to be a hot target once his contract with the Pacers ends

T.J. Warren of the Indiana Pacers is happy with his current team despite NBA trade rumor talk involving him recently cropping up.

Word of Warren requesting a trade came out Thursday through Jake Fischer of the Bleacher Report.

But it turns out that Warren and his camp never made such a request. The Pacers forward reacted to the report, stating, “Don’t use me to push false narratives.”

The suggested move out of Indiana is linked to current head coach Nate Bjorkgren, someone pundits are speculating may be on his way out.

Warren has been sidelined after sustaining a season-ending foot surgery. However, some suggested that it was done on purpose, with the 6-foot-8 cager trying to avoid playing under the 45-year-old Iowa native. This, in turn, reportedly suggested that Warren was not all-in when the Pacers took in Bjorkgren as their head coach.

The 14th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft played under Bjorkgren with the Phoenix Suns.

Warren is under contract with the Pacers for $12.7 million next season before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2022. He is likely to draw offers by that time, especially after the eye-popping performance he showed during the Orlando bubble.

Since that showing, Warren has become one of the Pacers' scorers. Hence, his voice matters for the franchise, and now most are making speculations regarding the timing of the medical procedure.

As for Bjorkgren, most see him getting the boot after the 2020-21 NBA season. The Pacers still have a chance at the play-in tournament, although the odds of them surviving are not looking good. Their current season performance is a far cry from last season's where they finished the 2019-20 season with a 45-28 record that was good for the fourth spot.

If the ax does fall on Bjorkgren’s job, he may not be the only one. ESPN reported that the jobs of Pacers executives Kevin Pritchard and Chad Buchanan could also be in jeopardy, the Bleacher Report said, citing unnamed sources.

"He's just very different," said one anonymous league executive who has worked previously with Bjorkgren. "He's not a d--k; he's just completely out of his element as a leader."

T.J. Warren #1 of the Indiana Pacers T.J. Warren #1 of the Indiana Pacers Photo: Getty Images | Kim Klement - Pool