Terrance Ferguson NBA Draft Profile

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Terrance Ferguson 6’7” Shooting Guard, Adelaide 36ers, 18 years old

Terrance Ferguson finished his senior year at the Advanced Prepatory International school in Dallas with a multitude of accolades. Along with winning three gold medals, dressed in red, white and blue as a member of Team USA U19, he participated in the McDonalds All-American game and the Nike Hoops Summit. He had an offer to Arizona State for the 16/17 season. Instead of joining the Pac-12 team, however, Ferguson opted for a slightly less mainstream route.

This year, Ferguson has been participating in the NBL, NBA’s Australian counterpart, for the Adelaide 36ers. His numbers – 4.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 0.6 assists a game, in  17 minutes – may seem underwhelming, but in truth do not outline his quality. It is important to put into perspective the difficulty of battling with fully-grown men as an 18 year old halfway across the world, as opposed to playing with fellow budding talents close to home.

The phrase, ‘stats don’t matter,’ is thrown about with dangerous ease nowadays, but in the case of Ferguson, it holds genuine stead. It’s also one of the reasons why he is touted to be selected in the 1st round of the upcoming draft, somewhere between pick #15 and #20.

Strengths 

Ferguson fits the mould of the increasingly valuable ‘3-and-D’ position in the NBA; combining the ability to use the rewarding three point arc to his advantage along with using his reach and improving IQ to good effect on the other end of the floor.

His three point percentage for the 36ers remains in the low 30’s, but is from a small sample size of just 2.2 attempts a game; less than suitable for a shooting guard. It is worth noting his jump shot technique as extremely sound. He operates on a large hop before a rapid release. The mechanics of the shot are sound enough that they need no tampering. This will allow him to step in to NBA teams and make direct impact from beyond the arc, if not anything else at the start of his career. He’s a particular threat from the corner spot, where his 3 point clip rises to almost 40% on the season.

As for the other half of his supposed ‘3-and-D’ skill-set, his growing defensive stature is compounding in effectiveness. Part of this is due to the NBL’s notoriously physical league, where his somewhat narrow frame has been pitted against dominant figures, who get away with a level of physicality that the NBA would not accept. The experience he’s gained from this has allowed him to use his wingspan and agility on the perimeter, while occasionally buzzing around the paint with zeal.

Weaknesses

It’s fair to say that although Ferguson isn’t a lacking offensive weapon, he’s a little incomplete. His strength with the 3-ball will allow him to integrate into the NBA level in time, but beyond that, there are a few aspects missing from his game. Ferguson is a little tentative when driving into the paint; he’s right handed and doesn’t use his left side that much, taking away a large chunk of potential points that could come his way.

Moreover, while his sharpshooter skills are sound, Ferguson needs to work on his ability to create his own shot. While this is not a ‘must-need’ quality for a 3 and D player, it’ll significantly improve his versatility and keep defences honest. If they knew he had the capability to zoom by and finish at the rim, they’d guard him a little farther away, allowing for greater quality shooting outside the arc.

Finally, Ferguson’s height and wingspan (6’9”) allow him to be a pest on defence, but he could improve significantly on that end if his strength was built in a more dominant fashion. His body is wiry, and at 186 lbs there exists plenty of potential to size up. Becoming bigger may decrease his sheer quickness by a hair, but would also result in massive upgrades in post defence and a more solid paint presence; thus making Ferguson a better all round player.

NBA Potential 

There’s no use pretending Terrance Ferguson is the leagues next all-time shooting guard. He has healthy potential outside the arc – something that is vital in today’s game – and great defensive energy. With the experience of playing in a professional league already, he’ll be able to make an impact soon after joining a team. This won’t be in any kind of key role, but minutes are what he most needs to continue growing as a basketball player. Will he be an above average shooting guard, eventually? Definitely. Will he be an all-star? Potentially. Will he be a hall of famer? No.

NBA Comparison

Klay Thompson, one of the leagues very best, is many echelons above Ferguson in terms of quality. But Terrance holds many qualities that are extremely reminiscent of Klay; the ability to catch a hot streak, the ability to defend perimeter players effectively and the reluctance to drive into the lane on a regular basis. They both have near perfect shooting forms, and even share the exact same height and wingspan.

It’s hard to imagine Ferguson setting the NBA alight. He is, however, a name that many teams should be looking at as a player to make a direct and significant impact for years to come.

Terrance Ferguson.

Remember the name.  

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