TJ Warren is the best player in the National Basketball Association that you have never heard of. The Phoenix Suns small forward, known for his ability to slash through defenses to get buckets or create a misdirection for his teammates to score, has, in the past year, upped his game. Thus far, he has become a focal part of his team, expected to be pushing for a playoff spot in the next few years. Read on to find out more about the player.
Who is TJ Warren?
TJ Warren whose full name is Anthony Warren Jr. was born on the 5th of September 1993 in Durham, North Carolina. From a very young age, Warren was exposed to the game of basketball by his father who played the sport.
He first attended Riverside High School but switched to Word of God Christian Academy and then Brester Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, where he graduated from. Warren was a star athlete during this time as a student and was heavily recruited by a number of schools, including Georgetown, and the University of North Carolina but he, however, committed to attend North Carolina State University.
Six Things To Know About TJ Warren
As a freshman with NC State, Warren started 14 of the 35 games he appeared in and averaged 12.1 points and 4.2 rebounds per game which earned him a spot on the ACC All-Freshmen Team. Warren’s performances that year fueled talks of him heading to the NBA and the small forward, despite being rated among the top 31 prospects for that year’s draft, chose to return for his sophomore year. He opted to do so in order to further develop his skills as well as to also get a better chance at moving up in the upcoming draft.
Warren found himself to be a starter on the school team in his second year since all the starters in their previous year had all gone to the NBA. He took the opportunity this gave him by the scruff of the neck as he averaged 24.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game in 35 games. He was named ACC Player of the year after which he announced he was declaring for the big league.
TJ Warren was selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 14th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. He went on to play in the NBA Summer League where he earned All-NBA Summer League second team honors. In his first full professional season, Warren was sent on multiple assignments to NBA Development League side, Bakersfield Jam, but still got to play in 40 NBA games, averaging 6.1 points and 2.1 rebounds
Before the start of his second season, Warren chose to attend the 2015 NBA Summer League in order to improve his game as well as impress his coaches. He averaged 22.4 points per game to earn All-NBA Summer League first team honors. The baller went on to have a breakthrough season, averaging 11.0 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. He also recorded a career-high 28 points in a game against the Golden State Warriors.
As of 2018, TJ Warren has managed a career-high 40 points in a game and has become his team’s starting small forward. His best season to date is the 2017-18 where he averaged 19.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
TJ Warren has suffered some bad injuries in his very short NBA playing career. His first stint on the sidelines came in 2014 when he sustained a crack in a bone in his left thumb. Two years later, he broke his right foot which sidelined him for the rest of the season.
Salary and Contract
In 2017, TJ Warren put pen to paper on a $50 million contract extension worth over four years with the Phoenix Suns. This put his average annual salary at $12.5 million, placing among the top-three highest-earners on his team’s roster.
Prior to this latest deal, Warren was on a rookie scale contract with the team. He initially signed a two-year $3.99 million contract after he was drafted in 2014. The following year, in 2015, the team exercised their option to extend the deal for another year, which saw him get paid $2.13 million for the 2016-2017 season. In 2016, the Suns exercised their option for a fourth year, paying him $3.15 million for the 2017-2018 season before going on to agree to the current deal.
As stated above, TJ Warren is not the only member of his family who is a baller. His father, Tony Warren Sr., was a player for the North Carolina State basketball team, the same school TJ Warren went on to attend and play for. His sister Nikita didn’t quite enjoy much success playing the game but she has, however, gone on to become the girls’ basketball coach at Enloe High School, Warren Sr.’s alma mater.
The former North Carolina State Wolfpack player weighs 215 pounds (98 kg). He further has a height of 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m) with a standing reach that is 8 feet 8 inches high and a wingspan of 6 feet 10 inches.