By Sam Levine
It’s hard to say that many Stanford basketball fans were surprised when Tyrell “Ty” Terry declared for the NBA Draft back in April. After all, the electric point guard, then a freshman, averaged just shy of 15 PPG in the 32 games Stanford played before the Pac-12 Tournament was canceled, including racking up 20+ points in nine of those games, helping to lead the Cardinal to a 20-12 record. He quickly became known as one of the best shooters in college basketball, averaging two threes a game on an impressive 40.8% mark from downtown, helping him earn a spot on the All-Pac-12 Freshman Team.
Now, with the withdrawal deadline coming up quickly, and with Terry’s name being thrown around in the mid-to-late first round area, it doesn’t look like we’ll get to see any more of Terry in a Cardinal jersey. So, let’s take a look at some of the best team fits for Terry in the NBA.
The 76ers currently hold the 22nd overall pick, and Terry looks like a very solid choice to join coach Brett Brown’s squad. A team that was one lucky bounce away from the Eastern Conference finals a year ago, the 76ers boast one of the league’s best defenses, but they don’t have many guys who can really space the floor and knock down threes, especially after losing guard J.J. Redick in the offseason. This allows most of the defense to collapse on Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, both of whom thrive in the paint. Terry would fit in nicely as that missing piece, providing an option for Simmons to dish to along the perimeter, and also someone who can handle the ball and space out the defense. His presence could help Philly improve on their 11.4 three-pointers per game, just 19th in the league.
New York Knicks
The Knicks have the sixth and 27th picks in the first round. While Terry won’t go sixth, it’s possible Terry could still be available at 27. If he is, it makes perfect sense for the Knicks to grab him. Terry is what the Knicks need: a guy who can shoot and create buckets for everyone around him. After all, the Knicks rank last in threes per game and second-to-last in points per game.
Terry can fix that. He’s arguably the best shooter in the draft, and he doesn’t need the ball at all times to score, an issue that the Knicks always seem to have with their best scorers like Carmelo Anthony, Marcus Morris and now, Julius Randle. Terry comes off screens and moves off the ball as well as anyone, and he’s a smart player, as evidenced by his record-breaking score on a pre-draft IQ test. His noted weakness by teams has been his size and defense, but playing alongside defensive-minded guard Frank Ntilikina should shore up some of those weaknesses.
The Bucks are the favorite to come out of the East in this year’s “bubble playoffs,” and a lot of their success is due to their great three-point shooting. Terry would fit right in to their high-powered offense, which averages the most points per game and the fifth-most threes per game. He’d be a great guy for Giannis Antetokounmpo to dish to when the defense collapses onto him, and Terry could also help take more of the defense’s attention off of Giannis, who isn’t known for his shooting and works best in the interior.
What Terry lacks on the defensive end with his size, he makes up for with hustle. He’s a “competitive defender who will take a charge and dive for loose balls,” wrote Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. That hustle would fit in perfectly with a gritty Milwaukee team, and veterans like Eric Bledsoe would surely help Terry improve on the defensive side of the ball and make up for his smaller frame (6’2”, 160 pounds).
Contact Sam Levine at samplevine ‘at’ gmail.com.