TJ Warren is the best player of the National Basketball Association you have never heard of. The little Phoenix Suns striker, known for his ability to break through defense to get to buckets or mislead his teammates to score goals, has improved his game over the past year. So far, he has become an integral part of his team, which is expected to push for a playoff spot in the coming years. Read on to learn more about the player.
Who is TJ Warren?
TJ Warren, whose full name is Anthony Warren Jr., was born September 5, 1993, in Durham, North Carolina. From a young age, Warren was introduced to basketball by his father, who played basketball.
He first attended Riverside High School, but moved on to the Word of God Christian Academy and then to Bruster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, where he graduated. During this time as a student, Warren was a star athlete and was heavily recruited by a number of schools, including Georgetown and the University of North Carolina, but he still committed to attending North Carolina State University.
Six Things To Know About TJ Warren
A newcomer to NC State, Warren started in 14 of the 35 games he played in, averaging 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 spurred talk of his move into the NBA, and the little striker decided to return to his second year even though he was among the 31 best prospects for the draft that year. He decided to do so in order to develop his skills and also to have a better chance of advancing in the upcoming draft.
Warren found himself in his second year as a starter in the school team, as all the starters from last year had all gone into the NBA. He took advantage of the opportunity that came his way and averaged 24.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game in 35 games. He was named ACC Player of the Year after announcing that he was going to play in the big league.
TJ Warren was selected by the Phoenix Suns as the 14th overall winner in the 2014 NBA Draft. He then played in the NBA Summer League, where he was honored as the second team in the All-NBA Summer League. In his first full professional season, Warren was sent to the NBA Development League team, Bakersfield Jam, several times, but was still allowed to play 40 NBA games with an average of 6.1 points and 2.1 rebounds.
Before the start of his second season, Warren decided to participate in the NBA Summer League 2015 to improve his game and impress his coaches. He scored an average of 22.4 points per game to earn the honor of the first team in the All-NBA Summer League. Afterward, the baller experienced a groundbreaking season with an average of 11.0 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. He also scored a career-high of 28 points in a game against the Golden State Warriors.
Starting in 2018, TJ Warren achieved a career-high of 40 points in one game and became the first small striker on his team. His best season so far is the 2017-18 season, in which he averaged 19.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
TJ Warren has suffered several serious injuries in his very short NBA playing career. His first sideline assignment came in 2014 when he suffered a tear in a bone of his left thumb. Two years later, he broke his right foot, which put him offside for the rest of the season.
Salary and Contract
In 2017, TJ Warren put on paper a four-year contract extension with the Phoenix Suns worth $50 million. This brought his average annual salary to $12.5 million, making him one of the top three earners on his team’s list.
Prior to this most recent contract, Warren had a contract with the team on the scale of a rookie. He initially signed a two-year contract for $3.99 million after being drafted in 2014. The following year, 2015, the team exercised its option to extend the contract for another year, earning $2.13 million for the 2016-2017 season. In 2016, the Suns exercised their option for the fourth year and paid him $3.15 million for the 2017-2018 season before agreeing to the current contract.
As mentioned above, TJ Warren is not the only member of his family who is a baller. His father, Tony Warren Sr., was a player on the North Carolina State basketball team, the same school TJ Warren later attended and played for. His sister, Nikita, did not have quite as much success with the game, but she is now a girl’s basketball coach at Enloe High School, the alma mater of Warren Sr.
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.