Draft Day: Thunder Select SG, Terrance Ferguson

Draft Day has become a highly anticipated event for NBA connoisseurs. That narrative is magnified for Oklahoma City Thunder fans because what may be on the line in regards to their star player, Russell Westbrook.

Terrance Ferguson was General Manager Sam Presti’s pick at No. 21

Ferguson, 19, is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma where he lived, up until middle school. He moved on to Dallas, Texas and played high school ball at Advanced Preparatory International and was a top-20 player in the 2016 class. Last summer, he de-committed from the University of Arizona to play professionally in Australia for Adelaide.

At 6-foot-7, Ferguson has great size for his shooting guard position. His athletic ability gives Oklahoma City something they need more of, defense on the perimeter. He’s able to guard more than one position as well, a trait that resembles Thunder forward, Andre Roberson. He’s a high energy type of athlete that always keeps a positive attitude during games, no matter his performance or the outcome of the game.

Ferguson needs further development in his ball-handling, especially when trying to be a shooting guard in the NBA. His slim frame may present a problem while playing interior defense and when he drives the lane, going up against larger players.

He really has the ability to be a very reliable shooter for the Thunder but needs repetition in order for that to happen. He isn’t a guy that Billy Donovan can use sparingly, with the sole purpose of shooting because he needs that repetition to master his shooting touch in the NBA.

Projection:

Although the Thunder will have to further develop this kid that turned 19 in May, he has a ton of raw skill and a ton of upside. His physical attributes give him an advantage over many shooting guards in the league and the Thunder will start to see significant growth at about the mid-season mark.

Ferguson will spend some time bouncing back-and-forth between the NBA and D-League, but definitely, has a fair shot to prove himself and develop over the course of his rookie season.

Biggest accomplishments:

  • Has won three gold medals with USA Basketball at the youth and junior national levels.
  • 2016 McDonald’s High School All-American.
  • Verbally committed to the University of Alabama during the summer after his junior year, re-opened his recruitment and later committed to Arizona in the spring of his senior season. After a superb performance at the Nike Hoop Summit, he was heavily recruited by the Adelaide 36ers of Australia’s NBL and decided to turn pro instead of attending college.

Player comparison:

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

What Insiders Say

Chris Denker, NetScouts Basketball
“This is the one player in the 2017 draft that will test the system. Can a player who is raw, needs major skill development, but has athletic potential, work his way through NBA Summer League, the NBADL, and a couple seasons of coaching to become a legitimate NBA player? Somebody will roll the dice and hope their staff can help Ferguson pass that test.”

 

Carl Berman, NetScouts Basketball
“The NBA draft is all about potential and Ferguson is all that. 15 minutes a game in Australia really doesn’t say a lot about Ferguson’s current abilities. He appears to be a spot-up shooter with good size and a good attitude. He’s a risky first round pick but the potential is there. He’s likely at least a year or two away from making any impact in the NBA.”

 

Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report
“His athleticism and jumper are suited for the open-gym setting. Ferguson should force teams to look past his off year shooting from three, particularly since he drilled seven triples at the 2016 Nike Hoop Summit. His 18 total assists in 17 games highlight minimal playmaking skills, which damages his value, especially if he plans on playing 2-guard.”

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