Weight: 184 pounds
School: Adelaide (Australia)
Position: Shooting Guard
Terrance Ferguson is the latest in a number of players who bypassed college in favor of playing a year overseas before entering the draft. Ferguson is following in the footsteps of players like Brandon Jennings and Emmanuel Mudiay but is a much different prospect than both.
The biggest strength for Ferguson is his shooting. He should immediately be able to stretch the floor as a spot-up shooter, though he can be streaky at times. He has a quick release point and understands how to get balanced before he goes up.
Ferguson is also an explosive athlete. This has mostly shown itself on the defensive end where he does a great job of using his lateral quickness and length to bother the opposition. Even though he lacks some of the fundamentals, he works extremely hard on this end and has a ton of potential once he develops further.
Probably the biggest concern for Ferguson is that he is still extremely raw overall and just lacks a feel for the game. Whether it comes on offense with making bad reads and passes or on defense getting lost off the ball, he has struggled with the mental aspect of the game.
Offensively, Ferguson struggles to create anything off the dribble as he is an average ball-handler at best. While he showed flashes of being able to attack in a straight line at times, his dribbling remains very rudimentary and prevents him from taking advantage of his natural athleticism.
On defense, Ferguson’s lack of strength hurts him as he can be muscled around by bigger players and it also hurts his ability to fight over screens. He is willing to throw his body up against bigger, more physical guys, but he is unable to win the battle right now.
Player Comparison: Terrence Ross
Terrence Ross is one of the best athletes in the league. A former Slam Dunk Champion, Ross is also a career 37.4 percent shooter from three-point range.
Ferguson is almost a replica of Ross with his outstanding athleticism (he posted a 38-vertical at the NBA Draft Combine) and his ability to stretch the floor. Where Ross has come up short in his career so far has been his inability to develop the rest of his game. Ferguson can’t afford to do the same.
As a worst case scenario, Ferguson should be able to have the same impact as Ross, a streaky shooter capable of getting hot at any time, and causing some havoc on defense and transition thanks to his length and athleticism.
Fit with the Lakers
The Lakers have two major needs right now: shooting and defense. Ferguson could potentially help with both of those issues.
Ferguson would likely immediately become one of the team’s best perimeter defenders and would fit right in with Luke Walton’s fast-paced system in which he wants the Lakers to get up and down the floor. He would also benefit from playing with players like D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram, not to mention someone like Lonzo Ball should the Lakers draft him as they could get Ferguson easy shots.
Most important would be the defense, however. He works hard on that end and has done a good job of understanding his role and playing within himself in Australia’s NBL. He is a project and someone who could benefit from the NBA’s new two-way contracts where he can be moved up and down from the G-League.
At the 28th pick, the Lakers can afford to take chances, and he has the framework of the perfect 3-and-D wing. With the right development, he could fit right into this young core.