Hot Hot Hoops continues to look at potential draft prospects for your Heat. We have already taken a look at Justin Jackson, TJ Leaf, John Collins, Harry Giles, Caleb Swanigan, Semi Ojeleye, Luke Kennard, and most recently Jarrett Allen.
Up next in our journey to find the right prospect for Miami? Terrance Ferguson.
As a high school prospect, Ferguson was considered one of the elite players across the United States. The Dallas native had the opportunity to go just about anywhere he wanted to — offers from Arizona, Baylor, and Kansas — but the 5-star wing decided to pass up playing in college.
Although he originally signed with the Arizona Wildcats last spring, Ferguson felt like the opportunity to go play in Australia was best to prepare for the NBA. In his letter for The Players’ Tribune, Ferguson explained his decision-making process.
“In terms of development, players from overseas are further along than players here. Just look at the last NBA Draft. In college, you have time limits on your workouts, you have class, you have so many other things taking up your time. Overseas, you’re on your own, playing in a grown man’s league. You’re working out twice a day, just focusing on basketball.”
Division I coaches and programs missed out on an athletic wing that can score at will and constantly makes highlight-reel plays. However, NBA coaches will now have a chance to add him to their roster this summer.
Athleticism and Explosion
Ferguson is an absolute freakish athlete. He possesses a quick first step and burst on the court. The 6-foot-7, 186 pound wing is one of the more athletic prospects in this upcoming draft. Between everything from his vertical leap to the explosion he displays every time he goes up for a dunk, Ferguson will be adding elite athletics to whichever team selects him in June.
Ferguson is a bouncy athlete who is best when playing in space. The wing turns into a defensive nightmare in the open court or coming off of screens. Once he sees daylight, it’s over for the opposition. As DraftExpress points out in this video, Ferguson possesses elite straight line speed that gives the defense little-to-no time to react.
The 19-year-old prospect’s burst was put to the test at the NBA Combine in Chicago. There, Ferguson showed off his 38” max vertical to scouts, GMs, and evaulators in attendance. He also timed in at 3.32 seconds in the three-quarter sprint and 3.22 seconds in the shuttle run.
Feguson’s athleticism potentially gives him a higher floor than other prospects in the draft. If developed properly, he can become a high-level player in the NBA.
Catch and Shoot
In today’s NBA, it is absolutely vital to be able to shoot and shoot well — especially from behind the arc. The athletic wing can do just that.
Ferguson has shown the ability to catch a pass and get his shot off without much trouble against professional and older players overseas. His quick release and nice stroke looks to be able to translate against NBA defenses.
Ferguson has been at his best shooting the basketball on transition. When he can step into his shoot, his stroke is at its peak. With as quick as Spo likes to play in Miami, he would be able to benefit from that style of play.
He is not the biggest player, but his 6-foot-7 height gives him an advantage over smaller defenders to get his shot off. Combine that with his explosion, and you have a prospect that can potentially be a spark for the 3-point shooting.
Although he’s a little thin, Ferguson’s height and 6’8 3/4” wing span has the potential to lead him to becoming a solid perimeter defender.
Ferguson’s size and wingspan help him defend against taller and bigger scorers. He possesses the length necessary to develop into a solid wing defender and to lock down opposing floor generals. The athleticism and burst that contributes to him being a highlight reel also helps on the defensive side, too. Ferguson’s speed allows him to cover the floor in a small amount of time to cut off lanes for offensive players.
DraftExpress notes how Ferguson can grow into an elite perimeter defender:
He uses his length and quickness effectively to contest shots on the perimeter, will throw his body around in the paint at times, and is light on his feet with strong lateral quickness. He's gaining invaluable experience going up against professionals with a 24 second shot-clock, and has had some nice sparks showing the type of defender he can become as his frame continues to mature.
He, obviously, still has ways to go; however, the ceiling is really high.
Another aspect that makes Terrance Ferguson an intriguing prospect for the Miami Heat is his versatility.
His 6-foot-7 height and his length gives coaches the ability to play Ferguson at different spots on the court. Although he is best playing the 2, Ferguson can contribute at the 3, too. He has the size necessary to battle with the small forwards of today’s game and is quicker than bigger players. Ferguson would have the opportunity to attack the basket in an efficient way in Spo’s system, but he can also step back and hit the occasional three.
On the defensive side, Ferguson can play the 1, the 2, and the 3. As mentioned above, his length allows him to keep up with larger players, but also shut down smaller point guards. Ferguson has all the tools necessary to become an effective defender in the NBA, making him an interesting prospect for Miami.
As for any prospect, Ferguson does have some downsides to his game. While his length and wingspan are big pluses, his thin build can potentially be a problem at the next level.
Because of his 186-pound frame, Ferguson is easily moved off his spot by the opposition. The pros of his frame include his quickness and burst, but the lack of muscle will potentially be exposed in the NBA.
Obviously, an NBA weight and conditioning program will help in big ways, but it is something to watch — especially if the Heat would like to play him some at the 3 spot.
Ferguson has shown flashes of being an elite transition shooter, but he does have trouble finding a reliable and consistent jump shot.
According to DraftExpress, Ferguson shot 44.4% from two-point range and 31.3% from three. Some of what makes him an intriguing prospect is Ferguson’s elite athleticism, but the shooting is something that coaches and scouts must determine if can reliable in the NBA.
All in all, Ferguson would be a nice selection for the Miami Heat at 14. Sitting at the back end of the lottery, Miami would love to have the opportunity to mold a player with his athleticism and raw potential.
Ferguson has the skills, explosion, and ceiling necessary to become a very solid 3-and-D player. In today’s NBA, that is extremely valuable.
Under Spo’s coaching and the Miami Heat culture, Ferguson could be the right pick for the Heat organization in June’s NBA Draft.