Name: T.J. Warren Age: 20 School: North Carolina State
Height: 6’8 Weight: 220 Projected Position: SF/PF
24.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.8 spg, 2.4 tpg (35.4 minutes per game)
52.5 FG%, 69.0 FT%, 26.7 3FG%, 57.4 TS%, 54.8 eFG%
35.5 USG%, 10.8 ORB%, 12.7 DREB%, 11.8 TRB%, 9.9 TOV%
SKILLS & ATHLETIC BREAKDOWN
Warren is a good offensive post player, even if he doesn’t have ideal strength. He works hard looking to establish position in the post area, though he could use his lower body more to create space. He sets a good target for passers and has very good hands. Warren has a variety of moves once he gets the ball, and he’s capable of making his moves over either shoulder or facing up. He has shown a nice drop step over either shoulder, a quick hook, as well as the ability to hit a quick turnaround jumper out of the low post. Warren has very strong footwork and he can be so quick when he gets the ball that the help defense doesn’t have time to react. Warren can be very good facing up out of the post and using his dribble to get by his man to the basket, or knocking down the short jumper. Warren isn’t a very good screener, and he needs to work on opening up to the ball as the “roll” man in the pick-and-roll. Warren can be very active moving in the post to get in position for the ball, but he needs to get stronger so he isn’t pushed away from the post area easily. Chances are that when Warren gets the ball, he is going to shoot, so he needs to do a better job learning to see the floor out of the post, especially finding open teammates off of double teams. Warren can also be an effective option in the high post, with the ability to knock down the mid-range jumper or drive strong to the basket.
Warren is a good ballhandler for his size, able to use both hands well, and able to attack the basket in either direction. When going to the basket, Warren uses his body well to shield defenders from the ball, and he has a variety of moves to create space for his shot. He has very good body control in the lane, but he can let the ball get away from him, especially with his left hand, if he tries to get through the help defenders. Warren sees the floor well when heading to the basket and sensing where the help defenders are coming from, but he needs to make decisions quicker when the help gets into position. Warren is capable of finishing with either hand around the basket, and he has shown very good spin and step back moves to create separation from his defender. He needs to watch a tendency to over-dribble when he has the ball, taking too long to see if he can get an opening and stalling the offense.
Warren is a good perimeter shooter out to about 15-17 feet. Once he is beyond that, he is much more inconsistent. Warren has a quick release and good follow-through, but when he is beyond the mid-range area, he has too much unnecessary movement during his shots. Sometimes he kicks his legs out and fades away, and others his legs will be fine, but the problem will be in his upper body. When he is in the mid-range area, Warren is very good about getting square to the basket and getting into his shooting motion quickly, with a generally smooth and fast release and follow-through. He can hit his jumper off the dribble in either direction, both mid-range, and on occasion, from long-range, though he needs to work on not drifting when he goes up for a shot off the dribble. Warren is not a very good screener, but he can be a good option in pick-and-pop situations, especially in the mid-range area. Warren has a shooter’s mentality and I expect him to be able to correct these issues with his long-range shooting early in his career.
Free Throw Shooting
Warren is a below-average free throw shooter, though I don’t think drastic changes will be needed for him to improve. The major problems seem to be getting very little lift from his legs, where he goes from almost standing straight to on his toes instead of using his knees, and also a lot of unneeded motion in his upper body while he goes through the shooting motion. Warren draws contact well when he is in the lane area, though he relies on jumpers for most of his shots. He goes to the free throw line around .35 times for every field goal attempt, but he draws at a much higher rate when he was playing around the basket area.
Post Defense/Help Defense
Warren can be an average post defender, but he will need to get stronger so he can play more physical. He positions himself well between his man and the basket, and he has shown good footwork when defending against both back-to-the-basket and face-up post moves. Warren likes to try and defend the post by fronting or denying entry passes, though he can get caught off-balance if he doesn’t get to the pass. He doesn’t hold his ground very well against post moves, and offensive players have little problem backing him down. He needs to watch using his arms to try and push his man off the post, and learn to use his lower body more. Warren’s defensive awareness is average when guarding the post, but he can be slow as a help defender in the lane. He is often a step or so slow to react and doesn’t get to help position in time to make a play, or he will, at times, just miss a play that is happening right around him because he is focused solely on his man. In pick-and-roll situations, Warren needs to do a better job hedging on the ballhandler, but is either slow to recover, or he doesn’t fully commit and leaves a gap for the ballhandler to make a play.
Perimeter Defense (On/Off Ball)
Warren can be an average perimeter defender, though he has shown he can defend well for short bursts when he is focused. He positions himself well between his man and the basket, but his lateral movement and reaction to movements need a lot of work. Warren does a good job closing on perimeter shooters, though he is quick to fall for shot fakes and getting drawn off his feet. Off the ball, Warren is much better, in some ways. Warren positions himself well though he can tend to wander on longer possessions, leaving his man completely along the way. He anticipates passes very well and he loves to jump passing lanes looking for steals and a quick transition opportunity. He does take a lot of chances and a simple pass fake could get him out of position as he makes the wrong move. His defensive awareness on the perimeter is below-average to average, and you can see that he can lose track of the ball completely because he is focused on where his man is.
Warren can be a very good rebounder, but he will need to put more effort in on the defensive boards to be successful at the next level. He tracks the ball well off the miss and can get into position quickly, but he needs to make sure to put a body on someone or he will be forced off his spot or just beaten to the ball. Also, he has a tendency to give up easily on the defensive boards, or ignoring going after them completely so he can leak out in transition. On the offensive end, Warren is aggressive going after missed shots, and, he uses he has a great knack for knowing what spot to get to corral missed shots. He is quick to get off good second shot opportunities when he gets an offensive board, often finding creative ways to score in traffic.
Warren runs the floor extremely well and he is an option to score in a variety of ways on the break. Warren does a good job catching passes around the basket and finishing strong with good body control. He can also take the ball off the dribble from one of the wings and finish at the basket or pull up for the short or mid-range jumper. Warren can push the ball in transition himself, though he will need to become a better ballhandler to do it at the NBA level.
Warren is one of the top scorers in this draft class, and there is still plenty of room for his offensive room to grow. He thrives in the mid-range area, and his ability to knock down jumpers or take his man quickly off the dribble makes him tough for many forwards to guard. His long-range shooting needs to improve, but he doesn’t force many bad shots, and he actually prefers to try and find the best look he can get. Warren is very good on the offensive boards and while not a great athlete, he finds ways to get to the ball and get quick shots off. Defensively, Warren is average at best, but he is very good at anticipating passes and jumping passing lanes, often leading to quick transition baskets. He is very strong and the open floor and he always seems to find a way to get to the basket. He isn’t a great athlete, but he has a solid understanding of most parts of the game, and he has the kind of game where you really need to pay attention to him or he will pile up points before you realize what’s happening.
Draft Value: Late Lottery- Mid 1st – #12-18
Warren’s scoring ability will make him a valuable commodity in this draft, plus there is still some room for him to grow as a player on both ends of the floor. His skill-set will allow him to thrive in many different offensive systems, and his defensive ability will hopefully improve over time. He will need to get stronger if he wants to play the 4, or his perimeter game to play the 3, but there’s little doubt he can find ways to contribute immediately.
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