Is T.J. Warren a good fit in Memphis?
T.J. Warren is a scorer, plain and simple. This is exactly what the Grizz need. He’s only 20, so he has plenty of time to develop. Tayshaun Prince is aging and his contract is up next year, so easing Warren into the small forward role would be ideal. If Memphis is able to get a scorer like Warren with the 22nd pick, they would be more than happy. Warren is also a solid perimeter defender, and has a lot of potential on D as well.
Warren is 6’8” and 220 pounds. He cut weight from last season when he was sitting around 235-240. This helped Warren’s effectiveness when driving to the lane, giving him an extra boost. His wingspan reaches about 6’10”, which is more or less average for his height. He isn’t an exceptional leaper with a 35″ max vertical. Overall Warren is an athletic scorer, and given that he cut down 20 pounds last year, he certainly seems to be committed to staying in shape.
This kid can score. Warren ranked 3rd in scoring last year. He gets to the lane exceptionally well, and can hit a wide array of runners. His mid-range game is also very good, making him a multifaceted scorer. The one knock on him is his long-range game as he only shot about 29% from beyond the arc. Were he to improve from distance then he would could be a lethal offensive player at the NBA level.
Warren was a pretty good defender at NC state and averaged 1.8 steals per game. This was in large part because he tended to overplay the ball sometimes. As a result he would get beat off the dribble often, meaning he will need to work on his footwork and defensive anticipation. Warren was asked to guard bigger players while in college, but he should be utilized as a perimeter defender in the NBA. His rebounding was solid too as he averaged 7.1 boards per game. Overall, Warren is a project on defense, but he has a very solid base to start with.
T.J. Warren could certainly fit on this Memphis squad. He should instantly contribute as a scorer, and eventually be a solid defender. He is going to be a bit of a project which is just fine given that Tayshaun (or a free agent) will still hold down small forward for at least part of this year. Warren might go earlier than the 22nd pick, but if he were to fall he could be a steal.
Statistics provided by Draft Express.