The Indiana Pacers’ T.J. Warren was one of the NBA’s hottest players in the Orlando bubble last year and was expected to have a very productive season in 2021. However, the star only featured in four games before undergoing season-ending surgery on his foot.
According to a report from Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, Warren wanted no part of head coach Nate Bjorkgren when he was hired by the team and requested a trade in the wake. When that did not happen, he opted to have surgery so he could better recover from a stress fracture, as well as avoid playing for the coach.
The report states:
“Nor did they consult with last year’s Orlando Bubble breakout player T.J. Warren—who played under Bjorkgren in Phoenix—according to sources. When news of Bjorkgren’s hire became public, Warren requested a trade from the Pacers, according to sources.
“It’s believed that Warren even opted for an elective season-ending surgery in March, both to better serve his recovery from a stress fracture in his left foot and also to avoid playing for Bjorkgren for the remainder of this season.”
It’s been reported that Bjorkgren will not be in charge of the Pacers next season. The team is in ninth place in the Eastern Conference and, while there is a chance they could sneak into the playoffs via the play-in tournament, it’s believed that the coach has already lost the locker room and is headed for the exit.