The 2017 NBA Draft is fast approaching and the Portland Trail Blazers possess three first round picks (15, 20, 26), as you know if you’ve been following our draft profiles. Today we take a look at another prospect and how he could benefit the Blazers, continuing the series by analyzing 19-year-old guard Terrance Ferguson.
- Height: 6’7”
- Weight: 186
- Wingspan: 6’8.75”
- Shoots: Right
- Position: SG
- Last Team: Adelaide 36ers (NBL - Australia)
- Age: 19
- Projected draft range: 13-25
- PPG: 4.6 | Per 40: 12.2
- RPG: 1.2 | Per 40: 3.0
- APG: 0.6 | Per 40: 1.6
- BLK: 0.3 | Per 40: 0.7
- STL: 0.2 | Per 40: 0.6
Ferguson is an explosive athlete with a soft touch from beyond the arc. He was mainly utilized as a catch-and-shoot option with Adelaide, but he does the have the ability to play above the rim when given adequate space. Ferguson is an excellent leaper and he can launch off both of his legs. His mix of speed and leaping ability make him a significant threat in transition from the moment he steps onto a NBA court. His athleticism also translates to the defensive side of the ball, as he has the quickness to guard either backcourt position when he matures.
At 186 pounds, Ferguson has a tough time holding his ground on both sides of the ball. On offense, he is routinely forced off of his desired shooting spot, forcing him into low-percentage looks. Ferguson hasn’t mastered the ability to draw fouls when playing through contact, making him one-dimensional in halfcourt sets. Even when he is able to get to the line, he struggles to convert his free throws (59.7 percent from the line in 2016-17). His slender frame also hinders his ability to keep larger opponents in check on the defensive end, which often results in him giving up favorable shots inside the paint.
Ferguson’s season in Australia is somewhat of a mixed bag to evaluate, given his limited amount of playing time (15.2 minutes per game). Adelaide finished on top of the regular season table in the NBL, and Ferguson’s ability to stretch the floor played part in their solid season. Despite his unorthodox route to the NBA, Ferguson’s draft stock has gained value in the last few months.
Once Ferguson puts on a little weight, he has all the tools to be an effective two-way perimeter player in the NBA. His size and inexperience will likely keep him off the court for meaningful minutes in his first few seasons, but he has a real chance to be an above average player at a position of need. He currently has significant holes in his game, but it appears he has the physical tools to correct those faults as he gains experience.
Given Portland’s current squad filled with expensive perimeter players, it is tough to imagine Ferguson landing with the Blazers. If President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey finds a trade partner willing to absorb the salary of one of the current wings on the roster, it would open up the opportunity to groom the 19-year-old for the future. Ferguson’s shooting ability is enticing, but his defensive potential would likely drive Olshey’s interest.
Do you want Ferguson in a Trail Blazers jersey next season? Which player would you like us to analyze next? Tell us in the comments below.