clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Stiffs prospect watch: Terrance Ferguson

New, comments
Australian Basketball Challenge Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images

The Denver Stiffs will be covering the top prospects for the Denver Nuggets in the 2017 NBA Draft in our Stiffs Prospect Watch series. Check back daily for video, stats, and analysis of top first round prospects.

Terrance Ferguson

Stats

Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks Turnovers Field Goal % Three point % Free throw %
Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks Turnovers Field Goal % Three point % Free throw %
16.3 7.4 3.0 1.7 1.1 2.8 51.30% 37.80% 56.60%

Strengths

Athleticism

The number one thing that stands out about Ferguson’s game is his athleticism. He’s got legitimate ups with a 38” max vertical and treated fans in Australia to more than one highlight reel throwdown. Ferguson’s speed and leaping ability make him an effective weapon in transition with plenty of ability to finish above the rim. He also can use his athleticism to be an effective slasher, able to receive the ball up high on alley-oop passes and finish in traffic.

Length

Standing at 6’7” tall with a wingspan of over 6’8”, Ferguson has excellent length for a shooting guard. His wirey frame is a big part of his aforementioned ability to finish at the rim, but also gives him an advantage on defense. While he’s yet to prove that he can be a plus defender, his length has NBA scouts salivating at the idea of developing him into the type of player who can lock down the opposition’s best perimeter threat on a nightly basis.

Mental toughness

Ferguson took the road less traveled by on his way to the NBA. Despite having offers from Alabama and the University of Arizona, he elected to travel abroad and play in Australia for one year. Ferguson said that other high school players have reached out to him to ask for advice on potentially following the same path and his advice has been to go for it, but only if you’ve got the mindset and maturity for it. While Australia may seem similar to the US, Ferguson noted there is still a stark contrast in culture that can be difficult to adapt to. He credits his time with the Team USA program as one of the reasons why he was able to handle playing in a foreign country with full grown men instead of playing in the NCAA.

Weaknesses

Playmaking

Terrance doesn’t have the ball handling skills or passing ability to create for himself or for others. His handle can be sloppy at times, often dribbling too high and opening himself up for turnovers. He also has less than great vision, as evidenced by his low assist numbers. In the age of versatility, Ferguson takes a knock because while he can be an effective two guard, he will never be looked upon to fill the role of running an offense.

Consistency

Ferguson’s shooting mechanics are good enough, and he’s got the ability to light it up from outside if he’s in a groove. However, like young players often do, he struggles with consistently knocking down jumpers and if he falls out of rhythm it can be hard for him to get it back which is why despite the good mechanics he shot just 31.3% from three and 38.1% overall. Still, the form is there so with more repetitions Ferguson could become a very reliable shooter from outside.

Fit with Nuggets

The fit is not all that great. Denver already has a player in Will Barton that can do everything Ferguson can, and they also have about 74 other shooting guards on their roster as well. While the Nuggets are in a position to bring Ferguson along slowly, something that would be sure to help his development, it’s hard to imagine Denver going the route of another shooting guard. Outside of the actual roster fit though Ferguson does seem to fit the culture of the Nuggets fairly well. He has a connection with Emmanuel Mudiay as both were enrolled at Prime Prep at the same time, and Ferguson’s aforementioned mental and physical toughness also fits with what coach Michael Malone likes to preach. Roster fit trumps culture fit though meaning without some other significant moves, the Nuggets taking Ferguson would be a bit of an eyebrow raiser.

Projected draft spot

SBNation - 15

Draft Express - 23

CBS Sports - 18 (Forgrave), 16 (Parrish)

ESPN (Chad Ford) - 27

Pre-draft workout interview

Final thoughts

Ferguson is your typical boom or bust type of guy that you can find in the mid to late first round. He certainly has all the physical tools to be a very good player in the NBA and his head appears to be in the right place. However, outside of his ability to dunk, there isn’t much about him right now that plays at an NBA level. He’s going to need time to develop and though playing in Australia likely faced him against stronger and more physical opposition, it still pales in comparison to the overall talent of the NCAA. Brandon Jennings and Mudiay are two examples of how players going the one and done overseas route can have vastly different results early in their careers in the NBA and neither is an overwhelmingly positive statement on taking that path. Hopefully Terrance lands with a team that can develop him slowly, perhaps allowing him to spend the majority of his rookie season in the D-League (yeah...I know, I’m not calling it that) where he can learn to better harness his physical tools.