Ferguson Thrilled To Be "Back Home" In Oklahoma

Thunder rookie Terrance Ferguson was officially welcomed to the Thunder during a late morning news conference at the CHK/Central Boathouse along the Oklahoma River.

Ferguson, Thunder GM Sam Presti and head coach Billy Donovan all answered questions from reporters.

A few minutes later all three men did more interviews individually. You can also listen to those in the boxes below.

Presti High On New Thunder Young Gun

Thunder GM Sam Presti meeting with reporters at the end of Thursday night's NBA Draft. (Photo By Randy Renner/InsideThunder.com)

Thunder GM Sam Presti meeting with reporters at the end of Thursday night's NBA Draft. (Photo By Randy Renner/InsideThunder.com)

By Randy Renner, Senior Writer

Naturally no one has much of anything bad to say about someone they’ve just invested a lot of time and money into and Thunder GM Sam Presti was no different when he spoke to reporters around midnight Friday morning after taking Tulsa native Terrance Ferguson with the 21st pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

“I think the fact that there isn't one specific thing is really the reason why we were attracted to him as a player,” Presti said when asked what about Ferguson made him stand out. “At his size and length, he's able to play both sides of the ball, but he also has the speed that I think is really important with our team.”

Ferguson is just 19 years old but he’s packed a lot of experience into that time.

After moving from Tulsa to Dallas he played on a couple of elite prep academy teams and became a McDonald’s High School All-American. He played on teams that won three gold medals for USA Basketball’s youth squads.

Then instead of going to Arizona, where he had committed, he opted to sign a pro offer from Adelaide in Australia’s National Basketball League.

“Obviously it's rare to find a player at his age that has the experience that he's gained by being in different environments,” Presti pointed out. “The USA Basketball experience he's had, the success he's had there, and obviously overseas experience in Australia.”

“He has a speed, a size, a length, athleticism, obviously an ability to shoot the ball from range that makes him an exciting piece to bring into the organization and continue to help grow.”

And he will need to grow in more ways than one. Physically his 6-7 frame needs more muscle, at just under 190 pounds he’s a tad skinny right now. That may have been a reason why his stats fell off a cliff the second half of the season in Australia. He had started strong (making 39 percent of his 3-point shots) but struggled toward the end.

And though his experiences have been varied, he didn’t get a lot of playing time in Australia. He probably could have played twice the minutes per game at Arizona as he did with the Adelaide 36ers.

Still though Presti sees plenty of bright spots with Ferguson.

“Any time we draft any player, we're not drafting a player for where he is today,” Presti reminded. “We're also drafting a player because we feel like we want to walk hand-in-hand with them through their development. This is really a beginning point.”

Ferguson is expected to be at the Thunder facility on Friday for his physical exam and to sign paperwork, meet the rest of the staff and start working. He will likely be officially introduced during a news conference Saturday morning.

Ferguson then will get a chance to show what he can do against other NBA draft picks and prospects at the Orlando Summer League which begins play on July 1st.

Thunder Take Oklahoma Native With 21st Pick

Tulsa native Terrance Ferguson after hitting a 3-pointer last season in Australia. From DraftExpress.com

Tulsa native Terrance Ferguson after hitting a 3-pointer last season in Australia. From DraftExpress.com

By Randy Renner, Senior Writer

19-year-old shooting guard Terrance Ferguson played in Australia last season, the first U.S. high schooler to do so, but he’s coming home now.

Home to Oklahoma.

Ferguson was born in Tulsa then he and his family moved to Dallas when he was in middle school. He became a star at Prime Prep Academy and Advance Prep International where he became a McDonald’s High School All-American.

He had committed to Arizona but then decided to sign an offer from the Adelaide 36ers in Australia where he played against pros.

Ferguson has good size for a shooting guard, 6-7, 185 with a 6-9 wingspan.

In his one season in the Aussie league he played 15.1 minutes per game and averaged 4.6 points on 44.4 percent shooting on twos and 31.3 percent on threes.

He’s won three gold medals with USA Basketball at the youth and junior national levels.

Scouts say Ferguson has outstanding mechanics and deep range on his jump shot. He’s comfortable in catch-and-shoot situations and is a solid defender who uses his length and quickness to contest shoots on the perimeter.

ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla called Ferguson “the ultimate 3 and D guy down the road.” Ferguson could end up being a replacement for Andre Roberson if OKC can’t resign him.

 

 

Thunder On The Clock

It's finally the day Thunder fans have been waiting for since at least the end of last season...NBA Draft Day.

OKC has the 21st pick in the first round and no picks in the second. Thunder GM Sam Presti has been busy as usual on the phone exploring deals and the team has brought in several players for workouts.

Here is today's Thunder Game Report with more about what's happening on Draft Day 2017...