NC State v Saint Louis

Report: Phoenix Suns promise to draft T.J. Warren


T.J. Warren is projected as a mid-first-round pick, because he’s a relatively polished player for his age.

The problem is his main skill – creating and making 2-pointers away from the rim – is not highly regarded in the NBA. Increasingly, the league is moving toward layups, dunks and 3-pointers due to their efficiency.

At North Carolina State, Warren was one of the rare players crafty enough in the mid-range to work from that area efficiently. It’s not clear whether those same moves will work against more athletic and longer NBA players.

If they don’t, what’s left? Warren doesn’t bring much to the table besides scoring, and his age (he turns 21 before next season) and athleticism leave limited belief he’ll improve his all-around game.

But the Suns apparently like what they see.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

T.J. Warren, North Carolina State, SF, 6-8, 220, So. – He surprisingly got invited to the green room, and a source said Phoenix gave him a promise.

The Suns have three first-round picks – Nos. 14, 18 and 27 – and Spears doesn’t specify which they will use on Warren, though No. 18 – where Spears has Warren going in his latest mock draft – makes most sense. No. 14 would be too high for Phoenix and No. 27 too low for Warren to shut down workouts.

Warren doesn’t seem like a typical Ryan McDonough draft pick, but we really have only one year to judge the Suns general manager. Last year, he used both Phoenix’s first rounders on rawer, high-upside players – Alex Len and Archie Goodwin. As much as we think McDonough has a type – and the Zach Lavine rumors certainly feed into it – it’s far too early to judge.

Perhaps, Phoenix would be an ideal landing spot for Warren. Jeff Hornacek is an excellent shooting coach, and maybe he could expand Warren’s range beyond the 3-point arc.

If that’s the appeal, I can see it. Hornacek’s blessing would be meaningful. Otherwise, No. 18 seems too high for Warren.

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PBT Extra bold prediction: Is this Andrew Wiggins’ breakout season?

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Minnesota is going to be entertaining to watch this season. A healthy Ricky Rubio (hopefully) dishing at the point, Karl-Anthony Towns is already a high-IQ passer, and bench players such as Shabazz Muhammad and Adreian Payne have shown some skills.

Then there’s Andrew Wiggins. The reigning Rookie of the Year developed quickly last season — particularly his jump shot — and he should make a big leap this season. He’s going to dunk on people and end up in a lot of highlight packages while putting up a lot of points.

Enough to set the Minnesota Timberwolves single game scoring record, currently held at 52 by Mo Williams? That’s the question for this PBT Extra with Jenna Corrado.

Derrick Rose being back for start of season in question

Fred Hoiberg, Derrick Rose
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The Bulls have said Derrick Rose is about a week away from returning after suffering a facial fracture this preseason.

The start of the NBA season is two weeks from today (Oct. 27).

So Rose will be ready to go when the Bulls start their season that first night against Cleveland, right? Don’t bet on it, says Vincent Goodwill of, quoting coach Fred Hoiberg.

The opening night projection for a Derrick Rose return is a bit murky at this point, as the Bulls are taking a cautious approach to his recovery with Fred Hoiberg essentially ruling him out for the rest of the preseason.

“Most likely (out for the preseason),” Hoiberg said….

In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rose sit out the first handful of games, as the Bulls start the season with a three-game in four-night stretch starting Oct. 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is in two weeks.

“That will be in consideration, sure,” Hoiberg said. “We gotta make sure, he really hasn’t done anything and that will be a good two or three weeks where he has total inactivity, so just to throw him back out there going 100 percent with his speed and everything, you just don’t want to take any risks, chances, where it could be a lingering issue.”

Just what TNT and the NBA hoped for with an opening night Bulls vs. Cavaliers showcase: Kirk Hinrich vs. Mo Williams. (Don’t forget Kyrie Irving will miss the start of the season recovering from his knee surgery.)

Of course, this is the smart play for the Bulls who need to be thinking about getting Rose fully healthy and focusing on what condition he will be come April 27, not Oct. 27.

And of course, a lot of Bulls fans who are down on Rose will slam him for this. Even though the injury was a freak accident and the team is right to be patient.

Rose could play opening night, if he gets back to practice next week and can get closer to basketball shape. But I wouldn’t bet on it.