PHOENIX — The Suns kept their promise and selected N.C. State Wolfpack swingman T.J. Warren with the 14th selection in the 2014 NBA draft.
Warren played two seasons at N.C. State, averaging 24.9 points last season on 52% shooting. He was the ACC Player of the Year and named second team AP All-American during his sophomore campaign. Suns general manager Ryan McDonough talked about Warren after his workout in Phoenix earlier in June.
“It’d be hard not to be impressed,” McDonough said. “Really carried his team at times, you know they didn’t have a whole lot of scoring help, so he had to carry a big load for them. It was impressive not only that he scored but he did efficiently as well. He’s kind of a quiet kid, doesn’t say a whole lot, but once the games starts he kind of got a knack for putting the ball in the basket.”
The small forward had some prolific scoring games last season at N.C. State, including back-to-back 40-plus games against Pitt and Boston College. He single-handedly led the Wolfpack to a tournament appearance, where they beat Xavier in the first round before falling to Saint Louis in round two.
Warren can score the basketball in many ways and knows how to create his own shot. He has an excellant midrange game and can score at ease around the basket.
— Shot Analytics (@ShotAnalytics) June 27, 2014
Suns coach Jeff Hornacek is impressed with Warren’s ways of scoring the basketball and talked about him earlier in June.
“He’s got that unique skill of scoring,” Hornacek said.” Watching tape, watching some of his stuff, he kind of – I don’t know (is) methodical looking. Because of that he knows the great positioning.
“When he makes a move and sees an opening, then he explodes. He had a couple finishes today when he got hacked pretty good and was still strong enough to finish it off. The question for him isn’t the scoring part, it’s the defense. I thought he did a great job defensively, getting his hand on the ball; he was better than I anticipated watching tape.”
Warren will fit in nicely on the Suns roster next season as a scoring forward coming off the bench. P.J. Tucker will still start as the small forward assuming he is re-signed in free agency, which will give Warren time to develop off the bench without the pressures of starting right away.