In the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft, there will undoubtedly be a large number of ‘one-and-dones’; players who entered themselves into the draft just a year after finishing high school. The Hawks will certainly have a number of them on their draft boards. While most of the one-and-dones do a year of college basketball in the United States, Terrance Ferguson took the less-traveled route of playing a year professionally in Australia. For more on 6-foot-7 swingman, we talked to Paul Force, founder of 36reasons.net (@36reasons), a blog focused on the Adelaide 36ers of Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL):
What does Terrance do well?
Ferguson came to Australia as the first ever American kid projected to play a season and then be an NBA first round draft pick. His numbers weren’t what many expected (4.6 points per game on 38 percent shooting), but it was foolish to expect a light-bodied teenager to dominate in a very physical league while playing his first professional season. Ferguson is already an elite defender and has a sweet stroke – a budding “3 and D” guy. Plus he is an exceptional athlete, winning Dunk of the Year for the NBL. He is still a few years away from being a solid contributor in the NBA, but importantly he has got great character. Regardless of the hype, Ferguson was great with fans, great with team promotions and events and worked hard to improve his game. He probably didn’t get the high-volume minutes he expected, playing instead just 15.1 minutes/game, but he never showed any discontent.
How does his game translate to the NBA?
Very well. Once he builds up his light frame and develops some consistency, Ferguson will be a contributor. He has all the tools to be a very solid pro. Defensively he is ready to go, which is a huge bonus. Ferguson also looks to be a good fit for the Hawks, giving them some youth, defensive ability and athleticism at the 2 and 3 spots.
What can he do to improve?
Hit the gym and eat! Outside of that, his priorities should be working on his shot and creating more off the dribble. While he has a nice stroke, hitting 31.3 percent on threes and 60.0 percent from the line shows that it still needs some work.
What style of play suits his game best?
Transition. With his athleticism and three-point potential, Ferguson is best suited to a team that likes to run. In the half-court, the 19-year-old often struggled and only seemed comfortable when left to shoot wide open shots.
To which current or past NBA player would you compare him?
I see some similarities to former Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat star Eddie Jones. Ferguson has a better shot than Jones, but he will need to work hard to match his defensive work and ability to get to the basket. Jones made three All-Star teams and three Second Team All-Defense teams too. If Ferguson can match that, he will have had a very good career.