The SLC Dunk team is profiling all the prospects who could be in the neighborhood of where the Utah Jazz are drafting at pick #24. The four categories that we’re making our evaluations are Strengths, Weaknesses, Jazz DNA, and Fit.
Terrance Ferguson is the latest high school player to play overseas instead of going to a college program. He was a 5-star, top-20 recruit coming out of college and committed to the University of Arizona before deciding to take his talents down under and play in the NBL in Australia. The 19 year old is an intriguing prospect, but how seriously should the Utah Jazz be looking at him?
This kid is an athlete. He’s a 6’7 shooting guard with a 6’9 wingspan and put up a 38” vert at the combine. He has excellent length for his position, which gives him the versatility of playing multiple positions, especially defensively. This also allows him to get off shots over defenders. He’s already a good catch and shoot guy, which he put on display as the 2016 Nike Hoops Summit MVP:
His speed also has to be considered when discussing his potential. He’s hard to catch when going downhill and can cover a lot of ground defensively.
Unfortunately, he has the body of a 19 year old weighing in at only 185 pounds. This makes guarding stronger wings or switching onto a big pretty difficult for him. He tends to shy away from contact on his drives because of his thin frame. His handles are still a work in progress, making it hard to create offense for himself. His passing would also be a barrier preventing him from any extra ball-handling duties. He’s a streaky shooter and fairly one-dimensional as a catch and shoot guy right now. He’s definitely a project rather than a day 1 contributor.
He seems like a good hustler and is willing to go to battle against bigger players. His rebounding numbers also don’t show his aggression attacking the boards and boxing out. He’s got great defensive potential with his length and willingness to compete. I think Snyder could turn him into a solid 3 and D guy after a few years. The whole skipping college thing might be seen as a red flag for some. He wrote an article for The Player’s Tribune here explaining his decision. For those who don’t want to click and read I’ll summarize: he really wanted to take care of his family and keep a childhood promise to his mom by earning money and helping out. He also wanted to have more time to workout and study the game rather than going to parties, being the big man on campus, attending class, etc. had he gone to college.
Fortunately for us, Dennis Lindsay has a great track record when it comes to the draft. This started when he was with the Spurs and continues now. If he thinks Ferguson can be a good player in this league, then I have every reason to believe him. Shooting Guard is not a position of strength in today’s NBA, so if you can find one that really contributes it can go a long way. Ferguson has 3 and D potential written all over him. He’s got the length and athleticism to make it in this league, but does he have the skills and work ethic? I think he could be a nice development project for Quin Snyder as we continue to improve and would hopefully become a solid replacement for the likely loss of Ingles/Burks/Exum/Hood down the road.
The Utah Jazz should ...
Not draft Terrance Ferguson. He is a project so you could easily convince me to look elsewhere for someone that can contribute now, whether that be through the draft or by trade.