The Denver Nuggets held another wave of pre-draft workouts Thursday with the 2017 draft just two weeks away. The highlight of today’s workout was Terrance Ferguson, who played last season professionally in Australia and the one prospect at today’s workout who’s currently slated as a first-round selection.
Media is not allowed to view the entire workout but can watch the last five minutes or so — usually when players go through three-point shooting drills. In that last portion of the workout, Ferguson impressed. His jumper was falling, he showed off a silky smooth and repetitive release, and treated everyone in attendance to the dunk below.
When Ferguson says he could equally win a slam dunk or a three-point shooting contest, he was not kidding.
Terrance Ferguson FLIES. pic.twitter.com/TpkC8vx03E
— T.J. McBride (@BSN_McBride) June 8, 2017
After the workout, Ferguson took some time to talk with both general manager Tim Connelly and coach Michael Malone before the confident 19-year-old spoke with the media.
“Today was fun. All of us came in here to compete,” Ferguson said. “Which was my focus, to come in here and compete against each other and have fun. Overall, a productive day.”
After attending high school at Prime Prep Academy, the same high school Nuggets’ point guard Emmanuel Mudiay spent time at, Ferguson went abroad to Australia but averaged just 4.6 points in 15 minutes per game for the Adelaide 36ers.
“That year was tough. I am not going to lie, it was tough especially for an 18-year old to move to a different country and different culture but it was a learning process,” Ferguson said. “I learned a lot on the court and off the court. So overall it was a fun. It was great for me.”
But Ferguson had someone who he was close to, that he went to high school with for two seasons, played abroad for a year after high school and then was drafted in the first round two years ago. In Mudiay, Ferguson, who doesn’t regret his decision to skip college, found solace.
“I talk to Mudiay all the time,” Ferguson said. “That is my brother right there. He just told me to come out here and compete; that’s pretty much it. And play your game.”
“We are just brothers,” Ferguson continued. “We don’t even really talk about basketball that often. We talk about life and have fun with each other. That’s it. We don’t really talk about basketball too much but when we do it is just having fun and competing.”
That strong mental fortitude comes from growing up without much in Dallas, Texas and that carried weight in his decision to decommit from both the University of Alabama and Arizona before heading to Australia.
Ferguson then signed an endorsement deal with Under Armor and began to help his family financially.
On the surface, Ferguson’s game fits today’s NBA. He’s regarded as a plus shooter despite hitting just 31.3 percent of his shots from distance last season with Adelaide. At 6-foot-7, Ferguson has a decent amount of defensive upside as well, despite his slender 180-pound frame.
“Everybody needs a shooter. Everybody needs a shooter and somebody who can go out there and wants to defend,” Ferguson said. “I want to defend. I don’t have to be asked. I want to go out there and defend right away. I am a great teammate so I think I can help the program.”
This is apparently not the first time that the Nuggets’ organization has had a chance to see the rangy wing play in person. Denver kept their eyes on Ferguson throughout last year.
“It was a very physical league,” Ferguson said referencing Australian’s National Basketball League. “You can ask coach. He came over to watched. It was a very physical league but I had to hold my ground and compete…He actually was talking with me about that before this workout. I told him, ‘I was there, coach. I know how physical it was.'”
Currently, Ferguson is projected to 23rd overall in DraftExpress’ latest mock but could rise if he fares well in individual workouts. The Nuggets currently hold the No. 13 selection in the first round, along with the 49th and 51st selections in the second.