Scouts are split on the idea of Terrance Ferguson as an NBA prospect and it is easy to see why. The U.S. high school standout continued his career in Australia during his “freshman” season and, for the most part, operated in relative anonymity. With that in mind, Ferguson’s stock is all over the place from a late lottery pick to the (slim) potential that he could even fall out of the first round entirely.
Tom Ziller of SB Nation believes there could be a landing spot for Ferguson with the Atlanta Hawks, though, as he projects the young wing as the No. 19 overall pick in a recent mock.
Ferguson has much better size than Mitchell, but NBA teams haven’t been super willing to spend high picks on Americans who spurn college basketball to play internationally. (Brandon Jennings, the best example, probably fell five picks because he played in Rome instead of Tucson. Emmanuel Mudiay appeared to slip after choosing China over a Big 12 school.)
But decision-makers probably will love that Ferguson went to Adelaide and fit into a role where he wasn’t the superstar. Players taken in the mid-first — even in a good year — aren’t immediate stars and may never become starters. Being able to find a role and excel within it is a big draw. Ferguson has, to some extent, proved he can do that.
For comparison’s sake, Ziller is using Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell as a measuring stick and that is interesting. It is certainly true that Ferguson “wasn’t the superstar” in Australia but he might profile more as a 3-and-D player given his relentless athleticism and shooting upside.
The concern, though, would be that his jumper has been inconsistent and there could be a low floor as a result. Atlanta doesn’t “need” a wing given the investment in Taurean Prince, DeAndre Bembry and Kent Bazemore (with a decision to come on Tim Hardaway Jr.) but Ferguson does boast a ceiling with more offensive capability and range than the other players involved.
How would you feel about this pick?