Wow. Wow wow wow.
It looks like that came true. Warren is a Phoenix Sun. And we have to trust it.
At 18, the Suns took Tyler Ennis. Here's the article on that one.
This is the T.J. Warren whose game is between the lines in the midrange area. He is not a three-point shooter or a great athlete or a someone who finishes at the rim. But he is talented offensively, and relatively young (20).
T.J Warren is a tremendously skilled scorer with a bevy of moves, and an ability to make shots from anywhere on the court. However, in and around the paint is where Warren is at is best. He is very comfortable scoring in a multitude of ways, with great touch, good ball-handling, and probably the best floater of any player his size. He was the third leading scorer in the nation, averaging nearly 25 points, while also contributing about 7 rebounds per game as well. Other than Doug McDermott, Warren is the most skilled forward in the draft this year. And like Doug, the biggest knock on him is his average athletic ability, and his status as a "tweener". However, Warren uses his strength and skill to complement his inside game, and is very comfortable scoring off of post-ups...which can help him make the transition to the next level.
Here's GM Ryan McDonough on Warren:
"It would be hard not to be impressed with how he scored. He was the number one conference player of the year. He really carried his team at times. It was impressive, not only that he scored, but that he did it efficiently as well."
And now coach Hornacek on Warren after the group workout:
"He has a unique skill of scoring. Watching tape, he looks kind of methodical looking. But because of that, he knows great positioning. When he makes a move and he sees the opening, then he explodes. He got hacked pretty good, and he still was able to be strong enough to finish it off. The question for him wasn't the scoring part, it was the defense. I thought he did a great job defensively. Getting his hand on the ball, he was better than I anticipated form watching tape."
Would the Suns have made a draft promise to Warren, 6'8" tall 220 lbs., high enough that he was invited to the Green Room? That would put Warren in the 14th or 18th slot. It would also imply that the Suns plan to keep at least one of those slots for Warren, rather than trade them away.
The Suns lacked a creative, go-to scorer from the forward position last year. Markieff Morris was the closest the Suns came to dumping the ball to a big guy to get the score. Warren could develop into that player. Warren appears to more duplicate Marcus Morris than Markieff, so I'm not sure where he is going to play unless Marcus is traded.
NBADraft.net compares Warren to Caron Butler (who was a 20-ppg scorer in his prime) and Jarvis Hayes, who was a tweener.
Draftexpress.com has Warren as the 17th best prospect and mocks him 15th overall to Atlanta.
Watch it all unfold together, right here on BSotS
Much like a gamethread, here's our NBA draft thread.
1 - Cleveland Cavaliers - Andrew Wiggins
2 - Milwaukee Bucks - Jabari Parker
3 - Philadelphia 76ers - Joel Embiid
4 - Orlando Magic - Aaron Gordon
5 - Utah Jazz - Dante Exum
6 - Boston Celtics - Marcus Smart
7 - Los Angeles Lakers - Julius Randle
8 - Sacramento Kings - Nik Stauskas
9 - Charlotte Hornets (from Detroit) - Noah Vonleh
10 - Orlando Magic (Via trade with Philadelphia 76ers) - Elfrid Payton
11 - Chicago Bulls (via trade with Denver Nuggets) - Doug McDermott
12 - Philadelphia 76ers (from New York via Denver) - Dario Saric
13 - Minnesota Timberwolves - Zach LaVine
15 - Atlanta Hawks - Adreian Payne
16 - Denver Nuggets (via trade with Chicago Bulls) (from Charlotte) - Jusuf Nurkic
17 - Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn) - James Young
19 - Denver Nuggets (via trade with Chicago Bulls) - Gary Harris
20 - Toronto Raptors - Bruno Caboclo
21 - Oklahoma City Thunder (from Dallas via Houston and L.A. Lakers) - Mitch McGary
22 - Memphis Grizzlies - Jordan Adams
23 - Utah Jazz - Rodney Hood
24 - Miami Heat (via Charlotte Hornets) - Shabazz Napier
25 - Houston Rockets - Clint Capela
26 - Charlotte Hornets (via Miami Heat) - P.J. Hairston
1 (31 overall) - Milwaukee Bucks
2 (32) - Philadelphia 76ers
3 (33) - Cleveland Cavaliers (from Orlando)
4 (34) - New York Knicks (from Dallas Mavericks via Boston)
5 (35) - Utah Jazz
6 (36) - Milwaukee Bucks (from L.A. Lakers via Minnesota and Phoenix)
7 (37) - Toronto Raptors (from Sacramento)
8 (38) - Detroit Pistons
9 (39) - Philadelphia 76ers (from Cleveland)
10 (40) - Minnesota Timberwolves (from New Orleans)
11 (41) - Denver Nuggets
12 (42) - Houston Rockets (from New York)
13 (43) - Atlanta Hawks
14 (44) - Minnesota Timberwolves
15 (45) - Charlotte Hornets
16 (46) - Washington Wizards
17 (47) - Philadelphia 76ers (from Brooklyn via Dallas and Boston)
18 (48) - Milwaukee Bucks (from Toronto via Phoenix)
19 (49) - Chicago Bulls
21 (51) - New York Knicks (from Dallas Mavericks)
22 (52) - Philadelphia 76ers (from Memphis via Cleveland)
23 (53) - Minnesota Timberwolves (from Golden State)
24 (54) - Philadelphia 76ers (from Houston via Milwaukee)
25 (55) - Miami Heat
26 (56) - Denver Nuggets (from Portland)
27 (57) - Indiana Pacers
28 (58) - San Antonio Spurs (from L.A. Clippers via New Orleans)
29 (59) - Toronto Raptors (from Oklahoma City via New York)
30 (60) - San Antonio Spurs
We will update the board all night, and post rumors/trades here and in the comments sections. We will separately write articles on each development as well, so stay tuned!
If there's one thing that I've learned over the course of my experiences watching the NBA Draft is that I love it.
The hype, the speculation, the first "whaaaaaaat?!?!" pick, the trades, the wingspans, the suits, the handshakes, the prospect not invited to the green room but attending in the crowd and coming down for a handshake and a photo when his name is called. Everything. I love it.
There's a problem with this process though, and for some they can come away from the experience scathed and unhappy with what they just watched. It's a delightful process for most, but it takes the right approach to truly get the most out of.
This draft becomes difficult for a lot of different fans. If your team was lottery bound the entire season (Philadelphia stand up!) or had multiple picks/assets (!) for the upcoming draft, you've been looking forward to this day since the last draft was over.
If your team had playoff expectations but wound up failing those miserably (I see you Kyrie!) then this could be your lone bright spot from that entire nightmare of a season. Unless you're a Pistons, Pelicans, or Knicks fan of course. The point is, there's a reason some people get their hopes up too high because their entire year of following their team leads to this moment. There are certain things you have to watch out for.
For one, remember that this is just the selection of the players. You won't see these guys rock your lovely team's apparel or revitalized franchise (BACK THE BUZZ) until the preseason unless you like the practice jerseys they use in the summer league where Andrew Wiggins will face off against Andy Rautins or Tyler Honeycutt.
The approach here is that the draft is the start of the real excitement. This extends further to the point that for as much Australian league footage you saw of Dante Exum or all that intense Sun Belt Conference action you saw of Elfrid Payton, none of us will really know how these guys pan out until we see their careers progress. I tried putting my head through a wall while sobbing uncontrollably when the Suns took Alex Len, but I wasn't going to find out if that was going to be a justifiable action of mine till he played that season. Wait. When did he play again? The point is, you might be waiting a while for this. A lot of fans of the corresponding teams had the same reactions for the selections of Rafael Araujo and Dirk Nowitzki. We just don't know.
The other killer of our adrenaline is the months of buzz on trades that are rumored, speculated, and flat out make sense until they don't even happen. Even a team like the Suns that are the most obvious team to make a move on draft day might not even make one at all. Making a trade sure is fun, but making the right trade is the best, and your team leaving draft night without making a move means the right trade probably wasn't available. The glorious thing about this negative though is that when you're least expecting a deal, something like the Brooklyn/Boston trade happens. It's high drama.
Perhaps the biggest activation of the nerves and the need to protect one's self on draft night is all the previous harm done. The fact that Nick Wiggins is in the draft has me petrified as a Suns fan, with their history of Taylor Griffin, Robin Lopez and Markieff Morris. That's perhaps a bit unrealistic of me, but you bet your ass I'm still scared regardless.
The flip side of this is that it is absolute hysteria and pandemonium when one of these bizarre draft reaches occurs. I still remember dancing around my living room when the Bobcats took Cody Zeller last year. The inevitable 5-10 spots too high selection of Rodney Hood, Tyler Ennis, or James Young will have me the same way this year. Once again, the goal is to laugh and enjoy.
The point I'm trying to emphasize here is to enjoy the draft for what it is. Whether it's the classic shot of the guy who was supposed to go first overall but didn't, taking a shot every time we toss it to Fran Fraschilla, counting the pixels on that international prospect's footage, criticizing the hat placement and handshake approach, or watching Adam Silver's inevitable first mispronunciation in the first round, it's going to be a great night.
At the end of the day, have some fun watching the draft and remember, believe in McDonough.