Tagged as the 2017 NBA Draft’s mystery man, Terrance Ferguson has been receiving a lot of attention from scouts and basketball fans alike. Much like Brandon Jennings, Emmanuel Mudiay and Enes Kanter, Ferguson decided to forgo college and he played professionally in Australia for the Adelaide 36ers. Besides being heavily recruited by major college programs such as Louisville, Kansas, Baylor, North Carolina and UCLA to name a few, he became a sensation on YouTube for his flashy athleticism in Australian League and Team USA play. With youth, ability, and athleticism, Ferguson has one of the highest ceilings of any player in this year’s draft.

Strengths

Like many top prospects in this year’s draft, youth and natural gifts are on his side. He just turned 19 in May and he is a 6’7” shooting guard who can shoot. Along with taking only smart shots, his athletic ability lets him get great elevation on his shot which allows him to shoot from NBA range and he’s even better in catch and shoot situations. He also doesn’t waste his time and motions when he shoots. He doesn’t force offense and he doesn’t want to be the team’s primary scorer if he knows that’s the best for the team, which is a lost art-form in the NBA.  Ferguson is even more impressive on the defensive side as he’s a strong on ball defender. He also shows great commitment on defense and he always wants to guard the opposing team’s best perimeter player.

Weaknesses

Mostly because of his youth and slim frame, Ferguson must develop his strength for NBA play so he can make plays through contact. Even though he his NBA ready on defense and has barely if any flaws he must vastly improve his offensive game physically and mentally. He can shoot threes from NBA range but if he can’t get his shots to fall he disappears offensively. He must become more consistent and that includes his midrange game. For someone Ferguson’s size, he’s a very good passer but he needs to improve as a playmaker and a ball handler.

First Year Expectations

Because so many players today go into the draft so young like Ferguson they still need the years and experience to truly develop for the NBA. Like Giannis and even Thon, Ferguson is young, raw and needs to be eased into NBA play to develop his weaknesses. Jason Kidd has done a very good job with Giannis and Thon his first year with them because he did a great job using their strengths and avoiding their weaknesses. For this reason, I think Ferguson could see playing time in his rookie year but it won’t be until later in the season and it will be limited.

Career Expectations

A comparison that has been thrown around for Ferguson is Terrence Ross and I understand that physically. He is a tall, lanky, athletic shooting guard who has shooting ability but I feel Ross was asked to do too much, too early in his career and that’s why he hasn’t reached his full potential. If developed like Giannis and hopefully Thon, Ferguson could be a solid 6th man and compliment to Khris Middleton and if there are lineup adjustments, he could replace Jabari if he never fully recovers from his second ACL surgery. Off the bench Ferguson can be a terror; being a 35-40% three-point shooter and give the Bucks a much-needed defensive boost on the perimeter. The Bucks need perimeter defense, shooting and they historically love high ceiling talent like Giannis and Thon. At pick 17 Ferguson would be a low risk, high reward because of his youth and the raw ability he already shows.

Ferguson’s Article from the Players Tribune

Why I’m Going Pro in Australia

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