With the 21st pick of Thursday’s 2017 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder chose Terrance Ferguson from the National Basketball League’s Adelaide 36’ers.
Last season, Ferguson, a 6’7 shooting guard, declined numerous Division I offers and instead competed professionally for Australia’s rugged NBL. While overseas, the heralded 2016 McDonald’s All-American averaged 4.6 PPG and 15.2 MPG.
Just 19 years-of-age, Ferguson’s 30-game on-job christening satisfied the NBA’s minimum requirements for draft eligibility.
And though Ferguson’s NBL stint proved uneventful, nonetheless, many scouts list the guard/forward as a touted “3-and-D” prospect with NBA-ready floor-spacing capabilities.
By taking the five-star recruit, Sam Presti addressed an urgent Thunder need to improve upon its league-worst three-point percentage.
Meanwhile, Ferguson joins Domantas Sabonis, Alex Abrines, and Doug McDermott in a talented young reserve grouping, as starters Andre Roberson and Taj Gibson become free-agents July 1.
With Roberson’s status uncertain, the incoming rookie’s projected floor-time hinges upon several off-season factors. If Roberson doesn’t re-sign, expect Ferguson to gain minutes at the NBA level. However, should Roberson re-commit, OKC’s newest addition could become a regular OKC Blue fixture.
Whatever happens, the former top-20 high school standout is Oklahoma City’s first official opening-round draft pick since Mitch McGary in 2014, and serves as the Thunder’s lone addition during this year’s draft.
Last August, the Thunder sent its two 2017 second-round choices to Denver for ex Thunder Joffrey Lauvergne. Lauvergne, however, accompanied Cameron Payne, and Anthony Morrow as trade-deadline fodder to acquire Gibson and McDermott from Chicago.
Now, Terrance Ferguson, a native Oklahoman shrouded with both upside and question marks will presumably begin answering those on-court questions during next month’s Orlando Summer league.