Spears: Source says Phoenix Suns gave T.J. Warren a draft promise

Kevin C. Cox

According to Yahoo! Sports, draft prospect T.J. Warren has a promise from the Phoenix Suns.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports posted a mock draft today, and in there he dropped a little Phoenix Suns rumor:

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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).

Here's what Sean Sullivan said of Warren after he visited the Suns on June 5:

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.

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