Newly signed first-round pick Terrance Ferguson should benefit from the Thunder’s philosophy of giving rookies playing time in the G League, writes Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman. On Saturday, the 19-year-old Australian became the final first-rounder to sign a contract, with the process being delayed while he waited for FIBA clearance. Ferguson brings a reputation as an effective shooter and defender, but played limited minutes in Australia last season and needs to bulk up his 185-pound frame.
The Thunder have used the G League more than any other franchise in their nine years since coming to Oklahoma City, sending players there 120 times. ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla, an authority on international basketball, sees Ferguson as an ideal candidate. “That’s exactly where I think Terrance is gonna benefit,” he said. “He’ll have the benefit of practicing a lot with the NBA team, but when he needs minutes and experience, he’ll get it in the G League.”
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- Nearly a month into free agency, former Thunder shooting guard Anthony Morrow is still trying to find a team, notes Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman. Morrow, who will turn 32 in September, was shipped to Chicago at the February trade deadline after spending two and a half years in Oklahoma City. He was expected to get more playing time with the Bulls, but appeared in just nine games and averaged 9.7 minutes after the deal. OKC already has 16 players on its roster, so a return to the Thunder seems unlikely.
- The Nuggets‘ trade of Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks in 2011 set the standard for what teams expect in return for a star like Kyrie Irving, writes Nick Kosmider of The Denver Post. He believes Denver is among the reported 20 teams that have reached out to the Cavaliers since the news broke that Irving wanted to be dealt. However, Kosmider suggests the Nuggets would have to part with Gary Harris, Jamal Murray and several other pieces to make a deal work, which he states is too high a price for Irving.
- Signing an extension with the Jazz was an easy decision for Joe Ingles, relays Kyle Goon of The Salt Lake Tribune. After receiving $52MM for the next four years, the third-year small forward said he is happy to continue his career in Utah. “I wanted to be in Utah no matter what,” he said. “It’s the place that got me to where I am. Whether we have all the All-Stars in the world or no All-Stars. Whether we were going to be a 10-win team or an 80-win team. I feel like Utah is the place for me to be and really help the team.”