The Phoenix Suns selected NC State Power Forward T.J. Warren with the 14th overall pick in the NBA Draft. Here are five things he brings to the table for his new team.
— TJ Warren (@T24Warren) June 27, 2014
Scoring, Scoring, Scoring – T.J. Warren was the ACC Player of the Year in 2014 in large part to his 24.9 points per game which was good for third in the nation. He shot 62% from the field and finished his sophomore season scoring 2o plus points in 19 consecutive games and 31 times total on the season. He topped the nation in 2014 with 9.7 field goals made per game.
Defensive Minded – Warren can get it done on the defensive side of the ball which is important at that position for the Suns as the power forward position. Markieff Morris and Channing Frye haven’t been the best low post defenders over the last couple of seasons but Warren could be a guy who improves them in that spot. He lead the ACC’s in steals during conference play in 2014.
Work ethic – Warren has completely transformed his body over the past year which has taken his game to another level. Since his freshman season, he dropped 20 pounds and from his freshman to sophomore year, he played seven more minutes per game, averaged 12 more points and hauled in three more rebounds per game. The work ethic to change your body for the better can’t always be taught, and the Suns have a player who has made that transformation before working with NBA trainers.
Versatility – I mentioned he can score but his point totals just tell part of the story. Warren can score in multiple ways whether it’s with his back to the basket, with his excellent mid-range jumper, running one-handers, in transition or on the offensive glass. He does it all except shoot from behind the arc as he shot 26.7% from three last year in 116 attempts. But they have Markieff Morris at the same position to take of that.
Following Good Path – Warren’s mentor reportedly is David West of the Indian Pacers. They have similar builds and skills sets. West is more of a true power forward than Warren but if the Suns land similar character, toughness and intensity as seen with West, this could be a very good piece for the Suns as they continue to build to once again become elite.