OKC Thunder Breakdown: 3 key areas Terrance Ferguson can improve upon next season

Terrance Ferguson #23 of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
Terrance Ferguson #23 of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Terrance Ferguson, OKC Thunder (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With Paul George and Russell Westbrook out in Oklahoma City, can Terrance Ferguson make another leap during this upcoming season and become a key contributor for the OKC Thunder?

This will be the 1st of many upcoming articles detailing where every player on the OKC Thunder can improve.

Terrance Ferguson is one of OKC’s best young players. At only 21 years of age, Ferguson already has two seasons under his belt as well as two playoff appearances. Armed with incredible athleticism and good size for his position, Ferguson has all the tools to become a good role player and 3&D specialist.

However, Ferguson obviously isn’t a perfect player. There are a few aspects of Ferguson’s game which could use some improvements. Let’s take a look at what I think Terrance Ferguson can improve upon that would make him an even better player.

Expanding his offensive game:

Ferguson’s entire offensive game right now is quite simple, catch and shoot three’s.

63.8 percent of Ferguson’s shots last season came on catch and shoot three-pointers, per NBA.com. In addition to that, every single 3-point shot (including the playoffs) made from Ferguson came off of an assist, which brings to light his lack of self-creation on offense.

Per Cleaning the Glass
Per Cleaning the Glass /

If you take a look at Ferguson’s shot chart over his last 750 attempts, you can see that most of his shots come from beyond the arc and in the restricted area.

Yes, those are the two more efficient shots a player could take, but how much value do you provide when you can’t create those shots on your own?

Ferguson shot a very impressive 73 percent at the rim last season (67/92), which ranked in the 92nd percentile among shooting guards, however, he was assisted on 90 percent of those shots.

Among 258 qualified players last season, Ferguson ranked 247th in free throws attempted per 36 at 1.0. He ranked in the 21st percentile among shooting guards in shooting foul percentage 4.5 percent (percentage of shot attempts he was fouled on), per Cleaning the Glass. Ferguson has also shown to be a non-playmaker so far in his career, ranking in the third and fourth percentile of assist percentage among shooting guards in his first two seasons in the NBA.

This was one of the most impressive moments from Ferguson last season. Ferguson pulled out an impressive stepback midrange jumper in a crucial game vs the Blazers. I’ve never seen Ferguson attempt a shot similar to this one in the NBA which is odd given the fact he has great height for his position (6’7 shooting guard).

Hopefully, as Ferguson becomes more confident in his game, he’ll use his height as an advantage like he did, as he could be very effective against smaller defenders.

Ferguson shot a very low 16.7 percent last season on pull-up threes, and yes while he is still very young I have questions about his future role on offense as so far throughout his career he’s shown to strictly be a spot-up shooter.