Phoenix Suns forward TJ Warren has been one of the most improved players in the league due to his impressive newfound ability as a shooter.
He is shooting 43.9 percent overall from long distance, on pace to hit a career-high from three. The 25-year-old has bonus incentives worth $250,000 a piece if he takes 185 three-pointers and shoots 37.0 percent on these looks, per ESPN. He is on pace to easily reach both those milestones.
Warren was 20-for-90 (22.2 percent) from three-point range last season, which was the second-worst clip in the NBA among those with as many attempts. He connected on just 0.3 shots from downtown per 36 minutes. This year, however, that figure has jumped to 2.2 three-pointers per 36.
According to our research department, only three players have improved their effectiveness from long range by a higher percentage point than Warren has thus far.
The former lottery pick spoke about how he has been able to shoot so well from deep (via NBA.com):
“It’s a testament to the work I put in. I really wanted to lock-in and really focus on it. Seeing where the league is going, just wanted to challenge myself and prove to myself that if I put my mind to it, I can do it.”
His trainer estimated that Warren took around 700 shots a day – or 42,000 total attempts this offseason. They specifically worked on his follow through, also reportedly correcting the “twisting motion” that Warren made during his release.
Last season, the forward was 12-for-53 (22.6 percent) on non-corner three-pointers. Only two players (minimum: 50 attempts) were less accurate from this zone. He is currently shooting 36-for-80 (45.0 percent) on his chances above the arc, which ranks Top 10 among those with as many opportunities.
His three-point percentage on these looks currently ranks better than Golden State’s Stephen Curry and several other top sharpshooters. It’s been one of the most impressive storylines for Phoenix thus far.
Alberto de Roa contributed research to this report