Terrance Ferguson

Thunder Exercise Options on Gilgeous-Alexander, Ferguson

The Thunder have exercised their 2020/21 options on point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and swingman Terrance Ferguson, according to a team press release.

Gilgeous-Alexander’s option for 2020/21, which will be his third season in the league, is worth approximately $4.14MM. Ferguson’s fourth-year option is worth $3.94MM.

Oklahoma City had until the end of this month to exercise those options.

Gilgeous-Alexander had a strong rookie campaign with the Clippers and was the key component for OKC in the Paul George blockbuster. He averaged 10.8 PPG and 3.3 APG while appearing in every regular-season game.

Ferguson started 74 games last season and averaged 6.9 PPG in 26.1 MPG. The 21-year-old was the team’s first-round pick in 2017.

Thunder Notes: Ferguson, Felton, Abrines

Despite Andre Roberson missing the entire season to this point, the Thunder have continued to thrive as Paul George has developed into a serious MVP candidate and other role players have stepped up in their respective roles. The main example of such improvement is Terrance Ferguson, who has maintained his hold on a starting role past the halfway point of the season.

As Maddie Lee details for The Oklahoman, the Thunder put the ball in Ferguson’s hands more during Summer League, which he believes has translated to his improvement and confidence so far this season.

While his statistics suffered during the Summer League experiment, Ferguson is finding open teammates more often and is playing with a confidence that has unlocked more components of his game.

There’s more for the Thunder:

Northwest Notes: Gobert, Exum, Wittman, Abrines

Jazz center Rudy Gobert and members of the organization are furious over his All-Star snub. Gobert told Aaron Falk of the team’s website and other media members that he can’t understand how coaches can preach defense and then leave him off their ballots. “It’s disrespectful not only toward me but toward the team, the organization and toward the game,” said Gobert, the league’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year. Jazz coach Quin Snyder echoed Gobert’s gripe, ESPN’s Tim McMahon tweets. “We talk about defense being valued, but when we have a chance to reward it, we reward scoring again and again.” Jazz president Steve Starks tweeted that there should be more transparency in the voting. The coaches select the reserves. “Complete nonsense and we need more integrity and accountability. If the coaches vote than their ballots should be made public.”

We have more from around the Northwest Division:

  • Reserve Jazz guard Dante Exum will not return to action until sometime after the All-Star break, Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News reports. Exum hasn’t played since suffering a left ankle sprain against Detroit on January 5th. He has been participating in on-court work but won’t even be re-evaluated until after the break. Exum signed a three-year, $33MM contract last summer.
  • The Timberwolves have hired former head coach Randy Wittman as an advisor to first-year coach Ryan Saunders, Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Saunders was on the Wizards’ staff when Wittman was the head coach there. “He’s an ear for me,” Saunders told Hine. “Another basketball mind to bounce things off of. I’m comfortable with him, known him for a long time.”
  • Thunder shooting guard Alex Abrines has returned to action but he’ll have to work his way back into the rotation, according to Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. Abrines played six minutes against Orlando on Tuesday after missing 17 games due to an illness and a personal matter. During his absence, Abdel Nader seized a rotation spot. Abrines will have battle Nader and Terrance Ferguson for minutes.

Northwest Notes: Beasley, Ferguson, OKC, Wolves

The Nuggets have been one of the feel-good stories of the season. Despite relying on a core of young players leading the way through countless injuries, the team has continued to win at a strong pace and stay in the top two in the Western Conference. Throughout the first half of the season, many role players have stepped up, including Malik Beasley.

As Sean Keeler writes for The Denver Post, Beasley made some tweaks to his shot over the summer and things have been clicking for him this season. Beasley is currently averaging career-highs across the board as his production has increased with his new role on the team.

Beasley is just another age-23-or-under player who is contributing to the Nuggets’ success, which is a good indication that Denver will be strong for many seasons to come.

There’s more from the Northwest division:

  • The Thunder have certainly benefitted from Terrance Ferguson admirably filling in his role as the team’s fifth starter. Considering Ferguson’s youth and low contract, the value he is providing has helped an expensive Thunder team that has limited young talent contributing to their success.
  • Speaking of the Thunder, Brett Dawson of The Athletic detailed the possible moves that the team could make at this season’s trade deadline, such as a possible acquisition of a strong 3-point shooter.
  • The Timberwolves will have to decide if they are going to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. Chris Hine writes for The Star Tribune that such a decision will be tough to make when factoring in team chemistry and the status of their coaches.

Northwest Notes: Roberson, Teague, Adams

While the Thunder have gotten off to a strong start, they would surely love to have Andre Roberson back in the lineup. Roberson has had several setbacks in his recovery from the ruptured left patellar tendon he suffered nearly a year ago. However, as Erik Horne reveals for The Oklahoman, Roberson has stayed active during his recovery and has led some defensive film sessions with the team’s young wing players.

Most notably, Terrance Ferguson has benefited the most from these film sessions, as he has stepped up to a bigger role in the starting lineup as a result of his much-improved defense. Led by quality defenders such as Paul George and Steven Adams, the Thunder have length and versatility throughout their number-one ranked defense.

The Thunder have been below average offensively this season, which highlights how much of their success is derived by their defense. And even when Roberson can’t play, he is still making his mark on the defense.

There’s more from the Northwest division:

  • Erik Horne also details Steven Adams‘ case for being an All-Star this season, highlighted by the advanced metrics that paint the picture of Adams being one of the best centers in the league. However, as Horne also points out, Adams isn’t focused on being an All-Star.
  • Unfortunately for the Timberwolves, they will continue to be without starting point guard Jeff Teague for another 7-10 days, according to Alan Horton (via Twitter), the radio voice of the Wolves. The Timberwolves have struggled in recent games as they continue to adjust to life without Jimmy Butler.
  • Speaking of the Timberwolves, Chris Hine of The Star Tribune writes that Derrick Rose has struggled with an ankle injury and could miss some time, which would leave the Wolves short at point guard as they look to bounce back from recent losses.

Hamidou Diallo To Be Re-Evaluated In 7-10 Days

Thunder rookie Hamidou Diallo was taken off the court on a stretcher on Wednesday night after suffering a scary fall, but he appears to have avoided a major injury (link via ESPN’s Royce Young). The Thunder announced this afternoon that Diallo sustained a left ankle sprain and will be re-evaluated in seven to 10 days (Twitter link via Brett Dawson of The Athletic).

Diallo, who has played regular minutes off the bench for Oklahoma City during his first NBA season, landed awkwardly after going up for a defensive rebound during the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s win over Golden State.

There was initially a fear that Diallo’s injury was severe – possibly a broken leg – but X-rays performed at the arena were negative, per Young. The 20-year-old had a boot on his left foot after the game and was using crutches, but was in good spirits after having avoided a major injury.

Although Diallo’s injury could have been worse, the Thunder may still find themselves short-handed on the wing when they resume play after today’s Thanksgiving holiday. With Diallo and Andre Roberson sidelined, Oklahoma City will have to see if Alex Abrines and Terrance Ferguson are ready to go. Abrines has misses the club’s last three games with an illness, and Ferguson suffered a left ankle sprain of his own during the first quarter of Wednesday’s contest.

Thunder Exercise Option On Terrance Ferguson

The Thunder have exercised their 2019/20 team option on Terrance Ferguson‘s rookie contract, the team announced today in a press release. The move locks in Ferguson’s $2,475,840 cap hit for next season.

Ferguson, the 21st overall pick in the 2017 draft, appeared in 61 games for the Thunder in his rookie season, averaging 3.1 PPG in 12.5 minutes per contest. The Tulsa native has moved into a starting role this year with Andre Roberson still sidelined, but has struggled in the early going, posting just 2.8 PPG on .273/.077/.500 shooting in 20.8 MPG. Still, he’s just 20 years old and his affordable contract provides value for an Oklahoma City team above the luxury tax line.

[RELATED: Decisions On 2019/20 Rookie Scale Team Options]

Interestingly, the Thunder’s announcement today doesn’t mention Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, who has a fourth-year 2019/20 option worth $2,529,684. Oklahoma City has until Wednesday to pick up that option, but teams often announce all their rookie scale option pickups at the same time, so the club may be opting to make Luwawu-Cabarrot an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Thunder Notes: Westbrook, George, Grant, Patterson

The Thunder remain the only winless team in the Western Conference but Russell Westbrook said it’s far too early to push the panic button, Royce Young of ESPN reports. Oklahoma City is 0-4 after blowing a 16-point halftime lead against the Celtics on Thursday. Westbrook had a brutal fourth quarter, missing all seven of his shots while making three turnovers. “We’re OK. We’ll be all right,” Westbrook said. “It’s early. I’m confident in my guys in this locker room, I’m confident in myself and my abilities to make sure that we have an opportunity to win a ballgame. There’s no need to panic. Obviously we’re not starting the way we wanted to, but we’ll be OK and I will make sure of that. So, not worried.”

We have more from Oklahoma City:

  • While Westbrook rubs some people the wrong way, he was an integral reason why Paul George decided to stay instead of joining one of the Los Angeles teams in free agency. “A lot of it was I liked our chemistry,” George told Young in a detailed piece on OKC’s year-long recruitment of George. “I liked what he brings to the table, I liked his competitiveness and I loved him as a teammate, as a friend, as a brother, as a dude in the locker room. He had a lot to do with me coming back here.”
  • Jerami Grant and Patrick Patterson continue to share starting duties at the power forward spot, Thunder digital reporter Nick Gallo relays. Grant got the nod against Boston because coach Billy Donovan wanted to play a smaller, quicker unit. Against a more rugged frontcourt, Donovan will go with Patterson. “For us, it’s going to be game-to-game in terms of the roster and having a plan of how to utilize those guys,” Donovan said.
  • What can the Thunder do to fix their issues? Erik Horne of The Oklahoman takes a closer look.
  • The Thunder have until the end of the month to decide whether to pick up the rookie scale options on Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Terrance Ferguson. Find out more here.

Injury Updates: Curry, Bell, J. Brown, Collison

After tweaking his right ankle last week, Stephen Curry twisted that same ankle during Thursday’s game against San Antonio. While Curry’s injury doesn’t appear serious, the Warriors will hold him out of their next two games on Friday and Sunday, writes Chris Haynes of ESPN.

“With Steph’s ankle injuries, it’s always a worry,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said. “Especially … he’s done it so many times where you can kind of tell immediately whether he can get through it or not by his reaction. Just by that reaction that he had tonight, it’s kind of a worry.”

Given how often Curry has tweaked or turned an ankle this season, it makes sense for the Warriors to play it safe with the former MVP. As Anthony Slater of The Athletic points out, the latest incident may also prompt the Dubs to consider adding Quinn Cook to their 15-man roster. Currently, Cook is on a two-way deal that allows him to play for the club during the regular season, but not in the postseason.

In order to make Cook playoff-eligible, the Warriors would have to convert his two-way contract into an NBA deal before the final day of the regular season. Golden State is unlikely to rush that decision, since Cook still has plenty of time left on his 45-day NBA limit, and the team would have to waive a player – possibly Omri Casspi – in order to add the guard to the 15-man roster.

Here are a few more injury notes from around the NBA:

  • The Warriors also avoided a serious ankle injury earlier this week, when Jordan Bell‘s latest sprain was deemed a minor one (video link via Slater). Even though Bell’s ankle injury isn’t considered as serious as the sprain that sidelined him for over a month earlier this season, he won’t be re-evaluated until Tuesday, tweets Melissa Rohlin of The Bay Area News Group.
  • Jaylen Brown suffered a scary fall during Thursday’s game against Minnesota, losing his grip on the rim after a dunk and hitting his head on the court. While the Celtics may initially have been having Gordon Hayward flashbacks, Brown tweeted late on Thursday night that he’s “OK” — with the exception of a headache. While Brown has avoided a worst-case scenario, he’ll continue to undergo tests and be monitored for concussion-like symptoms in the coming days, as A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston writes.
  • Darren Collison, who last played on February 3, has a chance to return to the Pacers‘ lineup on Friday night after recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, says Clifton Brown of The Indianapolis Star. “I had a chance to get up and down with the guys the past few days,” Collison said. “A lot of hard work trying to get back in shape. I feel really good about (Friday).” The veteran figures to come off the bench behind Cory Joseph until head coach Nate McMillan is ready to reinsert him into the starting lineup.
  • The Thunder announced today in a press release that rookie Terrance Ferguson suffered a concussion on Thursday night and has been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/11/18

Here are Sunday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA.

10:04pm: 

  • The Warriors have assigned Patrick McCaw to their affiliate in Santa Cruz, the team announced (Twitter link).

2:52pm:

  • The Grizzlies have assigned forward Brice Johnson to their G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, the team announced in a press release. Johnson was acquired by the Grizzlies prior to the trade deadline on Thursday. In 24 G League games this season, Johnson has averaged 13.4 PPG and 9.5 RPG.
  • The Thunder have recalled guard Terrance Ferguson and center Dakari Johnson from their G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, the team announced in a press release. Ferguson has appeared in 41 games with the Thunder this season while Johnson has racked up 24 appearances.
  • The Pacers recalled center Ike Anigbogu from their G League affiliate in Fort Wayne, the team announced on its website. While the rookie has played sparingly with the big league club, he’s averaged 6.3 PPG, 6.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game in 12 games with the Mad Ants this season.