Draft Profiles: T.J. Warren, 6’8, SF, N.C. State, 220 lbs., Sophomore

Draft Profiles:  T.J. Warren, 6’8, SF, N.C. State, 220 lbs., Sophomore

Athletically, Warren is an average athlete at the small forward position.  It might take time for him to adjust to NBA speed athletically based since he mainly played power forward on defense in college.  However, Warren has enough athleticism to be solid at the next level.  

Size

Despite a short wing-span in the 6’9 area for a guy 6’8, he still has great height and solid build to defend small-forwards.  He played primarily PF in college, and would be undersized in that role.

Basketball IQ

Warren shows a solid amount of Basketball IQ by knowing how and where to score with efficiency.  He knows how to read defenses and how to find his spots on the floor.  Matching his offensive Basketball IQ along with his skill-set should help him become a solid player.

Skill

It’s hard to average 25 points a game efficiently for a team in which he was the only scorer without his some skills.  Warren scored his points while shooting 58% from the field.  Warren plays well off the ball.  He gets his shots off the picks, off of curls, slashing to mid-range, shooting floaters, and much more.  Warren also shows a nice post-up game in which he is able to read/react to his opponents.

While a great scorer at the college level, Warren also shows some major concerns offensively.  First off, Warren is very quick going against college power forwards, but how will he do when being guarded by opposing small forwards just as big as him.  He scores several of his points off of floaters and mid-range.   Will he get those shots at the next level without great one-on-one ball handling skills?  In addition to below average ball-handling skills, Warren only shot 26% from college three point line.

Defensively, Warren is hard to gauge.  Warren possesses average quickness for small-forward.  He comes out of his stance too robotic (upright), can get easily beat off the dribble, and played for a team and coach not known for defense.  Will Warren be able to become adequate at defense is the question?

Overall

Overall, Warren has a chance to be a really good scorer at the next level off the bench.  He is not that great at anything else and I wonder if he can expand that.  Warren is a solid athlete with a solid basketball IQ, but does not pass well, defend well, and does not rebound well for his size.

The other knock is that he only shot around 26% from three as a volume shooter.  Considering he was the only real scoring option at N.C. State, will Warren be a good teammate and better shooter with more open looks at the NBA level, or was he ball-hog with a bunch of mid-range shots?  Also, he'll need to adjust to playing as a role player rather than the primary option on his team.

How does he fit with the Bulls?

While the Bulls needs scorers and he has the ability to be that, I wonder if he provides the type of scoring we need.  Warren can score from all over from mid-range in and should probably continue to do so.  However, how well will he do when paired up against small-forwards that are as strong and quicker compared to being matched up against opposing power forwards at the college level?

To me while I would not be disappointed in the Bulls drafting Warren as I think he can carve a niche in this league, the Bulls need more impactful players in different ways.  Offensively, the Bulls either need shooters or guys that can create off the dribble.   The Bulls also need elite athleticism.  Warren while a solid scorer and a solid fit for Coach Thibs motion offense is not impactful in the ways I feel the Bulls need in a deep draft with shooters, offensive playmakers, and size.

My impressions

Overall, I would rather risk picks on someone else that I feel will contribute in different ways.  I do think Warren has a chance, but psychological tests and workouts are crucial to see whether he can adapt his game to the next level.   I always have concerns when a player’s strengths is scoring, but they are not a very good perimeter shooter and have pedestrian athleticism.

Comments

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  • So, use 2nd round pick on him. 58% from the field is unreal. He is not 7' tall and getting his points inside. If he improves his D, he might be a steal.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    He is a savvy scorer - but he just needs to expand his game. We are not getting him for a second round pick though!

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    In reply to kevinstates:

    Hey Kevin,
    As an NC State student who has seen much of his games, some things you missed are worth noting.
    The comment about TJ Warren is a poor rebounder are wrong. He led the ACC in offensive rebounds, and is absolutely relentless on the glass. I do not think you gave him enough credit for his motor. He is always running around trying to get his shot, outworking the defense finding ways to score even though he is consistently double and tripled teamed because NC state had no one to help him on offense this year.

    His three point shot is not as bad his percentages say, shot great from 3 freshman year but most his threes were forced his sophomore year. Also worth noting he was top 5 in the ACC in steals, great at getting in the passing lane.

    As for his mental side no concern needed. Guy looks up to Kevin Durant and their personalities are very similar. He's humble and a very high character kid who is one of the hardest workers in this draft.

    There is no question in my mind this guy will be able to score, and score easily in the NBA. His mid range game and push shots are almost unblockable because his release is so quick and he can get it off whenever he wants. Would work great receiving back door passes from Noah. He needs to continue to work on his three and hopefully his defense wont be bad enough to keep him on the pine.

  • Yeah, I watched him a lot as he maintained and added to his high scoring average as the season progressed. He could be a steal below 15, but sub par lateral quickness defensively, doesn't appear to be a shooter from the perimeter, and he seems kind of.. different in interviews and team interactions as in verbally and expressively limited almost to the point of strange. Reminds me of James Anderson Oklahoma State who I was leery of in the same regard.

    That's not to sound mean or anything. Maybe he's just very shy/soft spoken. Bottom line: he's not on my list, but if drafted he could turn out to be a scoring machine, perimeter game or not, based on his very early(sophomore) and prolific scoring with exceptional field goal efficiency. First to lead ACC in ppg and field goal percentage since Tim Duncan if I heard it right. Oh, and thanks for the review.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I think he can play - it's just I forsee much better fits for this team!

  • These psychological tests you refer to have to be somewhat of a joke. For example, how come this test did not scream that Tyrus Thomas was a Class A knucklehead. Exhibit A: telling a reporter shortly after the draft that he thought of himself as a small forward; Exhibit B: being totally non-engaged on the bench during summer league games; Exhibit C: dribbling behind his back during the aforementioned summer league games forcing Del Harris to give him the hook; Exhibit D: his cursing out of coaches.

    Also, how come a psychological test could not reveal how passive Tony Snell is. On second thought, who needs a written test? Just look at him play. Perhaps someone should have told Gar that physically and mentally weak mediocrities from mediocre programs seldomly become good NBA players.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Man I don't know GarPax. I'm just saying the tests should reveal more as too whether a pick feels he had to be a scorer and such.

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    He's the ultimate boom or bust pro basketball player. I'm leaning towards bust. He has a nice touch in the paint, midrange shot, and along the baseline (Boom). But how will he fair when he has to share the scoring load w/ others? He's not a great set-up assist man, or one to drive and kick to his open teammates (Bust). Will probably be a good bench player, or MVP of the D-League in two years.

  • I think this player is questionable--too much like the quiet Tony Snell. Coby Bryant wants Thibs--why not give the Lakers Thibs for the 6th pick and draft higher. We need this pick because the star players don't want to come to Chicago and we must depend on getting players with the draft. Thibs is not a post season coach and he wears his players down by the end of the regular season besides not liking to play rookies. By next year, all of you fair weather fans will see and want another person to coach the team--so now is the time to maximize his worth.

  • In reply to penwit1:

    Both teams have to agree and if Thibs goes, Melo is gone. Also, I would not do it for pick 6, but only a top 4 pick as that is the meat of the draft.

  • Does he remind anyone else of Chris Copeland? Not the three point shooting, but a guy who is really good offensively but horrible everywhere else. If the Bulls had a late first or early second, I'd take him, but the teens is to high for a player like him in this draft.

    If the Bulls traded their two picks, how high up could they get? Would Minnesota go for it?

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    I don't think he is Chris Copeland as Copeland is a shooter. I do think he should be a mid-to-late first round pick!

  • The Bulls should keep those two picks. They could possibly get the 14th by trading Dunleavy to Phoenix. They won't need Dunleavy with the outstanding shooting of Mirotic. Next, if they can get the fourteenth they should draft Nick Stauskas and with the 16th they could draft Adrian Payne. The 19th pick could be used for a center. If they cannot get Anthony that's okay if they get a guard our use Stauskas as the SG; and Mirotic becomes affordable. Mirotic can also do what Dunleavy did and still be a good rebounder and backup PF. Financially speaking the Bulls would also afford Hinrich--and still they would be genuine continders.

  • In reply to penwit1:

    If you can trade up with either Snell/Dunleavy and get a player you want, I'm intrigued. However, do other teams do that?

  • In reply to penwit1:

    Do you think the 14th pick would be as good as Dunleavy? True, he would be a bit cheaper, but ... Plus, the Bulls might not know about Mirotic until after the draft when they find out about Carmelo. I would not rush into that trade.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    I think you have to clear up cap space to get Melo so Dunleavy is 34 with one year (albeit cheap) left on the contract with showing of a decline. I think the 14th pick can be better than Dunleavy at 34 especially if someone like Stauskas, Hood, etc..

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