Phoenix Suns: T.J. Warren is becoming a top small forward


Phoenix Suns fans have seen the steady evolution of T.J. Warren throughout his career. Now he’s breaking out and showing signs of being a top small forward.

It’s been a long time coming, the NBA should recognize the skills that the Phoenix Suns’ small forward T.J. Warren has. Warren has consistently been the second best player on the Suns’ roster. As great as Warren has been for the Suns, he needs to be recognized across the NBA as one of the top up and coming small forwards in the league. If Warren continues to grow in areas he’s already good in and improves his weaknesses, then he should become one of the top small forwards in the league.

Warren didn’t become a legit scoring threat from his position overnight, it took time and effort.

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Warren’s scoring and rebounding are the two parts of his game that have improved the most over his career. Now he’s the Suns’ second leading scorer and fourth leading rebounder. Warren holds his own against the leagues’ top small forwards in several categories.


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Warren’s offensive game is beyond legit as he ranks high in several categories. Currently, Warren is ranked fifth in points per game among small forwards. Only LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Paul George and Khris Middleton have higher scoring averages than Warren. Warren has a higher scoring average than the likes of Andrew Wiggins, in the past I wrote about how Warren is having a better season than Wiggins. Warren also ranks 14th in free throw percentage, fifth in field goal percentage and third in 2-point shot percentage among small forwards.

There are some areas he should focus on improving if he wants to be a top small forward. In the past I had wrote that Warren needs to pass the ball more and with him tied for the 26th most assists per game among small forwards, that sentiment still holds true. Comparing Warren’s horrific 3-point percentage against other small forward is pointless. Hopefully Warren can work on it this summer, but if not then he has the potential to become a 2-point specialist like DeMar DeRozan.


Rebounding is Warren’s best skill on defense and he’s tied for 11th in rebounds per game at his position. Interestingly enough, he’s currently the best offensive rebounder at small forward. Warren’s also tied with DeMarre Carroll with the sixth most double-doubles at his position this season, with each player currently having five apiece.

Two areas on the defensive side of the ball he should focus on improving is his steals and blocks per game. Among small forwards, he currently ranks 19th in both categories. If he can get within the top 15 in both of those, then he would be in much better shape on the defensive side of the ball.

Next: Phoenix Suns Big Board 1.0: Top 10 prospects

T.J. Warren is showing signs of being a top small forward in the NBA, but he still has to improve in several key areas to rightfully become one of the top players at his position. The Phoenix Suns coaching staff should focus improving those areas this offseason, because it will not only benefit Warren, but the franchise as well.