Suns Player Reviews: T.J. Warren

With the 2014-15 campaign written and closed, Suns.com’s Matt Petersen takes an end-season look at each member of Phoenix’s roster heading into the summer. Key points include what went well, what could be improved, and a notable advanced stat for each player are included, as is their offseason status with the team.

T.J. Warren

Bio: 6-8, 215 pounds, 21 years old

History with Suns: Drafted 14th overall in 2014

2014-15 stats: 15.4 mpg, 6.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 52.8 FG%

Offseason status: Under contract with Phoenix

What Went Well

Warren bided his time and logged D-League minutes for most of the season. Then trades/injuries kicked in, opening up just enough playing time for one of the young guys to snag.

Warren made the most of it, averaging nearly 20 minutes per game after the All-Star break. In that time, he showed his highly advertised "knack" for scoring, as evidenced by his markedly high shooting percentage for a perimeter player. Floaters, push shots and mid-range jumpers formed an unpredictable arsenal which surprised more than a few veteran defenders. He's also an exceptional offensive rebounder. Nearly half of his boards came on the offensive glass.

Warren also alleviate Phoenix's biggest season issue: ball movement. The 6-8 rookie played like a 10-year veteran when it came to off-ball movement. Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight realized quickly to look for him, especially on backdoor cuts from the corners. Don't be shocked if he becomes a much more prominent part of the Suns' offense next season.

What Could Be Improved

Warren is a scorer, if not necessarily a shooter. His three-point shooting clip (23.8 percent) leaves plenty of room for improvement, as does a 6-8 frame that could use some bulk.

Warren's offensive reputation indirectly produced defensive critique, but Head Coach Jeff Hornacek was quick to praise him for improving that part of his game even before his rookie season began. Learning and executing NBA team defensive principles is still a work in progress, but he's hardly the all-offense, no-defense prospect some elite scorers turn out to be.

Notable Advanced Stat: What defense? Warren shot a scorching 65.2 percent when defenders were 0-2 feet away from him (classified as "very tight" defense") this season.

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