Brooklyn Nets: Evaluating ‘mystery man’ Terrance Ferguson

Mar 26, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; McDonalds All American guard Terrance Ferguson (6) poses for photos on portrait day at the Marriott Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 26, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; McDonalds All American guard Terrance Ferguson (6) poses for photos on portrait day at the Marriott Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

Terrance Ferguson, 19, has been one of the hardest prospects to evaluate for NBA teams league-wide. Foregoing college, the athletic swingman spent last season playing professionally in Australia. The Brooklyn Nets will get a first-hand look at Ferguson on June 18.

Terrance Ferguson was once regarded as a sure-fire lottery pick. However, after a rather unsuccessful stint in Australia, he’s seen his name scattered all over mock drafts. Some still have him cracking the lottery, others have him going late first-round. As a result, the Nets have moved into striking distance.

Before averaging five points, a rebound and an assist per game for the Adelaide 36ers, Ferguson was a 5-star recruit, McDonald’s All-American, and on his way to Arizona. Known for his impressive explosiveness and athleticism, the 6’7″ shooting guard showed glimpses of what made him highly regarded coming out of high school.

So… yeah… no comment needed here. Dude is athletic.

However, in his lone year playing professionally in Australia, he shot 38% from the field, and 31% from long-range. That has to improve if he wants to be successful in the NBA. Luckily, he’s only 19. He has impressive shot mechanics, and his stroke reminds me a bit of Malik Monk.

Here, you get a glimpse of his ability to stroke the three. He has the size to rise over smaller defenders, and shoots his shot with confidence. “I’m a shooter. A deep range shooter. I can shoot from anywhere and I’m very athletic,” said Ferguson. Obviously, his 31% shooting from distance speaks otherwise. In my opinion, the low percentage can be attributed to poor shot selection. He takes contested shots on a fairly regular basis, but also shows the ability to knock them down. When left open, he connects at a high level.

While Ferguson has great offensive potential, the game takes place on both ends of the court. When evaluating draft prospects, especially guards, defense sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. Ferguson has real ‘3 and D’ potential. At 6’7″, he mans a 6’9″ wingspan and an 8’7″ standing reach. He’s rather thin, weighing in at 184 pounds at the NBA Combine, but his length for a shooting guard will give opponents fits. Once he reaches the NBA, he will have to put on some weight to stay in front of stronger players on the wings, but that shouldn’t be an issue.

In a recent interview, Ferguson had some interesting things to say.

"“I’m way more prepared than any college player. A college player is coming in thinking he’s the man. After you’ve sat on the bench, they’re not going to like that. I’ve already faced that overseas. I overcame that, so I have the right mindset coming into the league.”“It’s very physical. A grown-man league. Everyone over there was going to go after me. I just had to hold my ground and be tough.”"

Ferguson could very well be better off for his experiences in Australia. It takes a certain level of maturity to play overseas as a young prospect. His game seems to fit today’s NBA, and with time, he could develop into a nice piece for a team.

But, is he a fit for Brooklyn? It depends. Many believe the Nets need to upgrade their frontcourt in the draft. If Ferguson is available at #22, along with a handful of ‘bigs’ such as Anzejs Pasecniks, Isaiah Hartenstein, Bam Adebayo and others, Brooklyn will have a decision to make. However, if his name is still on the board at #27, Brooklyn should consider taking a chance on the young swingman.

There’s a possibility that Ferguson will be long gone by the time Brooklyn even has their first pick. He’s worked out for various teams slotted in the lottery, and it just takes one team to be sold on his potential. He reportedly had a great workout in front of Denver, who picks 13th. As stated earlier, he seems to be a prototypical ‘3 and D’ player, and we know Brooklyn places significant value on these players.

He’ll have his chance to impress the Nets on June 18th. DraftExpress currently has him going 23rd to Toronto, one pick after Brooklyn.