The Phoenix Suns boosted their scoring depth by drafting T.J. Warren out of North Carolina State 14th overall.
Warren was one of the best scorers in the NCAA this season, with the ability to fill it up from anywhere inside of the three-point line. Particularly Warren’s patented move is the mid-lane floater, after receiving the ball in the 15-foot midrange area. This move doesn’t sound particularly transferable to the NBA given the length at play in the lane though, so he’ll need to adjust his game just like he did from his freshman season to his sophomore one. Most importantly, Warren will need to develop a three-point jumper. He shot 27% from long-range this season on 116 attempts. He’s not particularly bashful about taking them, but he’ll need to clean up his stroke in order to get there.
His fit on the Suns is somewhat strange to me. I actually had him initially mocked at 18 to them in my mock draft on this site, but then changed it after remembering that both of the Morris twins play for the Suns. Basically, Warren reminds a ton of Marcus Morris, a 14th overall pick of the draft’s past. He’s in that 6’8-6’9 range, didn’t really have NBA three-point range upon entering the league, and tended to take a lot of shots in that 10 foot area. They also both had questions about their level of athleticism and whether or not they were simply men amongst boys in the NCAA.
Morris hasn’t turned out poorly necessarily, but he also didn’t turn out to be worth the 14th overall pick. My guess is that the same thing ends up happening with Warren. He’s caught a little bit too far between the 3 and 4 positions for my liking. I’m not sure he’s athletic enough to ever defend 3s, and I don’t know that his offensive game is an ideal transition. If there’s anyone with the offensive creativity to get the most out of him, it’s Jeff Hornacek. Ultimately though, there were guys that I liked more on the board that were probably better fits for the Suns.