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Report: Phoenix Suns promise to draft T.J. Warren

Jun 26, 2014, 10:33 AM EDT

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T.J. Warren is projected as a mid-first-round pick, because he’s a relatively polished player for his age.

The problem is his main skill – creating and making 2-pointers away from the rim – is not highly regarded in the NBA. Increasingly, the league is moving toward layups, dunks and 3-pointers due to their efficiency.

At North Carolina State, Warren was one of the rare players crafty enough in the mid-range to work from that area efficiently. It’s not clear whether those same moves will work against more athletic and longer NBA players.

If they don’t, what’s left? Warren doesn’t bring much to the table besides scoring, and his age (he turns 21 before next season) and athleticism leave limited belief he’ll improve his all-around game.

But the Suns apparently like what they see.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

T.J. Warren, North Carolina State, SF, 6-8, 220, So. – He surprisingly got invited to the green room, and a source said Phoenix gave him a promise.

The Suns have three first-round picks – Nos. 14, 18 and 27 – and Spears doesn’t specify which they will use on Warren, though No. 18 – where Spears has Warren going in his latest mock draft – makes most sense. No. 14 would be too high for Phoenix and No. 27 too low for Warren to shut down workouts.

Warren doesn’t seem like a typical Ryan McDonough draft pick, but we really have only one year to judge the Suns general manager. Last year, he used both Phoenix’s first rounders on rawer, high-upside players – Alex Len and Archie Goodwin. As much as we think McDonough has a type – and the Zach Lavine rumors certainly feed into it – it’s far too early to judge.

Perhaps, Phoenix would be an ideal landing spot for Warren. Jeff Hornacek is an excellent shooting coach, and maybe he could expand Warren’s range beyond the 3-point arc.

If that’s the appeal, I can see it. Hornacek’s blessing would be meaningful. Otherwise, No. 18 seems too high for Warren.

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  1. loubearkane - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    A lot of people think TJ Warren will be a solid NBA player , I don’t see it , hope i’m wrong.

  2. campcouch - Jun 26, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    What? Nobody is looking for a mid-range shooter? Only dunkers and 3-point shooters?

    • bigmeechy74 - Jun 26, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      Actually making 3’s and driving to the basket are better than mid-range jump shots. so yeah kinda

      • chalkruz1989 - Jun 26, 2014 at 12:14 PM

        Can’t agree more with you campcouch. Look at the best players around the league and one skill that is overlooked is their ability to get open shots from the key. Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Lebron James all utilize their driving ability to get open looks. If you’re a defender and you are guarding someone that is faster than you, you’re going to play a couple steps back. Look at Tim Duncan, no comparing their talents, but, how The Big Fundamental used his jumper to be a dominant player.

      • weaselpuppy - Jun 26, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        Unless you are lights out from that range and significantly out-perform the statistical averages.

        Are the new metrics telling me Rip Hamilton was a bad player??? Because he was pretty fantastic for a decade as a complementary scorer who shot lights out from 15-19 feet every night.

  3. spyder9669 - Jun 26, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    I’m curious why we need his particular size and skill set? We have a whole team of him…We need a flat out scoring machine. Trading the picks is the only way to do it.

    • pharohislife - Jun 26, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      You must not know T.J. Warren then. He is a flat out out scorer and probably one of the best you can get around the 18th pick. Averaged I think 24.8 ppg last season.

  4. pharohislife - Jun 26, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    But T.J. Warren won’t be there at 18 because the Celtics are taking him at 17, if not him then Zach Lavine. So whoever the C’s take between those 2 guys,the Suns will get the other

  5. saint1997 - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:47 PM

    I also heard a source saying Hawks have promised Saric at 15

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