The Suns selected T.J. Warren with the No. 14 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday. Here’s a look at Warren and how he fits with Phoenix:
Bio: North Carolina State | Sophomore | Small forward
Vitals: 6-8, 220 pounds
2013-14 stats: 24.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.8 steals, 52.5 FG%
Strengths: Warren shed more than 15 pounds last summer, in preparation for a breakout season as a sophomore. He is a crafty scorer with a soft touch around the basket who devastates defenses with a dizzying arsenal of floaters, runners and other short- and mid-range attempts. Few at the college level could match Warren’s blend of size and scoring know-how, and the former top-20 recruit delivered by scoring at an efficient clip while using a robust 33.9 percent of the Wolfpack’s possessions and leading his team to an unlikely NCAA tournament berth. Warren is one of those pure scorers who seems to just find ways to put the ball in the basket.
Weaknesses: For all his scoring talent inside the paint, Warren struggles shooting from the outside. Warren connected on only 26.7 percent of 116 long-range attempts last season. There are concerns about his ability to effectively guard NBA power forwards and, if pushed out to the perimeter, his lack of elite athleticism could leave him at the mercy of quicker ball handlers. Warren can also be reluctant to pass at times, launching contested or off-balance attempts instead of dishing to players in better scoring positions.
Team Fit: Warren, one of the most gifted scorers in the draft, gives Phoenix another weapon with its first of three first-rounders. Set in the backcourt with Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic, Warren fills a need at small forward and could be an upgrade over P.J. Tucker before too long. He’s not a great shooter and will need to work on his perimeter game, but he fits right in with the Suns’ youth movement and gives them a potential go-to guy if everything translates. They’ll be an exciting team to watch, and with two more picks, one to keep an eye on.
He's a bit similar than the Morris twins, which makes you wonder a little about this one – Phoenix could have used more of a floor spacer, but they might be able to grab one later in the first.
2014 NBA Draft: What kind of impact will trades have on NBA teams?
Sports Illustrated's Maggie Gray and Chris Mannix discuss the trades from the 2014 NBA draft and what kind of impact they might have.