NC State forward T.J. Warren was a scorer while playing for the Wolfpack. Now, he's trying to show he can do that, as well as be an all-around player, at the NBA level.
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T.J. Warren | 2014 NBA Draft Profile

by Mark Remme
Web Editor
@markremme

North Carolina State | Sophomore | Small Forward/Power Forward | 6-foot-8 | 220 lbs

2013-14: 35.4 PMG, 24.9 PPG, .525 FG%, .267 3FG%, 7.1 RPG, 1.1 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.6 BPG

2012-13: 27.0 MPG, 12.1 PPG, .622 FG%, .519 3FG%, 4.2 RPG, 0.8 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.4 BPG

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Editor’s Note: Throughout June, Timberwolves.com will profile a series of prospects that could be available at Minnesota’s No. 13 pick, or if they choose to be mobile during the 2014 NBA Draft on June 26. Part VII highlights North Carolina State’s T.J. Warren, who became a scoring machine and a consensus All-America for the Wolfpack during his two years in Raleigh.

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T.J. Warren isn’t trying to force anything during this NBA Draft process. He’s simply going through his workouts—like the Draft Combine in May—working on his game and trying to prove to league executives that he’s the right fit for their respective teams.

“It’s just being patient,” Warren said. “Anxious to see where you’re going to go, so the whole thing for me, staying patient.”

After his big year in Raleigh last season, Warren put himself in the conversation as a prospect right in the middle of the NBA Draft.

He’s a scorer who put up 24.9 points per game last season, was a consensus second team All-America selection and put himself right near the top of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s major statistical categories. He led the ACC in points per game, overall points and player efficiency rating (31.3). He also led the nation in field goal attempts and makes.

“Offensively, I felt like I excel in transition,” Warren said. “Mid-range to 3s. My percentage from 3 wasn’t that good, but I shoot a lot better than what my percentages say. It’s just me being able to get up to the line and knock it down. It feels a lot better from 3.”

He said he does feel like his effort will allow him to come in and defend at the NBA level right away. In college, he defended some of the top athletes the ACC had to offer. He’s committed to becoming a better defender as he goes along, and he has the confidence to make it happen.

And dating back to his days at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, where he helped the Bobcats to a 33-1 record and the National Prep championship in 2012, Warren’s played at elite levels of competition. Competing in the ACC only helped add to his resume in that department.

“Going back to Brewster, where I played with five Division I guys, going to play in one of the best conferences in the country in the ACC, it really helped me a lot,” Warren said. “They have a lot of NBA-talent guys. My last two years, I’ve played against a lot of NBA-talent guys. If feel like I’ve taken the step, and I’m ready to play against NBA teams.”

STRENGTHS

The first thing that sticks out about Warren is his ability to score. He does it in bunches. Warren averaged more than 18 field-goal attempts, so you know he’s able and willing to put up shots when he needs to. He’s good at finding holes in the defense and scoring at the hoop. He had 113 offensive rebounds to his 137 defensive boards last year, so his hustle and presence around the glass is there on both ends of the court. That also speaks to his basketball IQ. He seems to be able to overpower smaller athletes around the basket, and if he’s able to further develop his skill set on the perimeter it would create a couple nice complementary skills. And his effort shines through on both ends of the court, which is important especially on the defensive end.

WEAKNESSES

The biggest question mark with Warren is where he will fit on an NBA roster. Is he big enough to play the 4, and is his quick enough to play the 3? We’ve seen players who fit that description struggle at times in the NBA, so that’s a big concern. If you’re going to be a 3, you need to be able to have that quick, explosive step to the basket from the outside and you need to be able to defend players with that quick, explosive step. If you’re going to play the 4, you need to be able to bang a bit in side. He’ll also need to work on his lateral quickness as he moves into the NBA. While he did improve his numbers across the board as a sophomore, the one glaring area that did not improve was his 3-point shooting. He dropped from a 51.9 percent shooter beyond the arc as a freshman to a 26.7 percent shooter from deep last year.

THEY SAID IT

“I think I could come in for a team and be able to score in a variety of ways. Defend, do a lot of little things. Just not scoring, rebounding, playmaking. Just do a whole bunch of things that people don’t think I can do. I’m capable of doing. Whoever selects me is going to get that.” — NC State forward T.J. Warren

WHAT HE CAN BRING TO THE WOLVES

Warren is a scorer, plain and simple. If you’re able to put up nearly 25 points per game in the ACC, you’re going to get a look based on what you can do on the offensive end. He’d be able to run the floor, but he also has the potential to work well in half-court sets. He’s someone who was in the right place at the right time around the basket, and he’s able to help create for himself and others. And he made great strides from 2013 to 2014 in college, which shows his potential. Virtually all of his statistics increased over the course of a year—including doubling his points per game—with the exception of his field-goal percentage.