Needing a 3-and-D wing, the Oklahoma City Thunder are betting on Ferguson’s Australian season to be a fluke.
Terrance Ferguson struggled a lot in his one season in Australia. He averaged just 4.6 points per game, and struggled with foul trouble and lacked a big role. Despite this, Oklahoma City picked him 21st in the 2017 NBA Draft. And they were right to do so.
Ferguson fits perfectly within the ecosystem of the Thunder. As a long, rangy athlete with solid 3-point mechanics, Ferguson represents an ideal foil to new teammate Andre Roberson — a wing who will find immediate success shooting the ball at the NBA level, and is strong enough defensively despite having some significant issues with foul trouble and lateral agility. He’s probably never going to be an All-Defensive first team member, but he’ll be playable, and his threat as a potential floor spacer is the real draw.
Ferguson is awesome as a catch-and-shoot wing, as evidenced by his Nike Hoops Summit performance. That’s what Oklahoma City needs. They badly lacked spacing this past season, as the quartet of Roberson, Steven Adams, Victor Oladipo, and Enes Kanter meant there were always at least two poor shooters around Russell Westbrook. Ferguson has the potential to absolve that problem, and he and Domantas Sabonis represent threats that should hopefully open up the floor for Westbrook.
For Ferguson, Oklahoma City is an ideal situation. He’s a limited creator, but they don’t need him to create, ever. He’s here to stretch the floor, his single best NBA skill. They can throw him in the G-League early on, and it’s not really that big a deal if they can’t get him going right away. Oklahoma City is banking on Ferguson becoming one of the most valuable player types in the NBA — and he’s got the skills to get there. He’ll need attention to get there, and they can give it. This should be a solid marriage.
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