In a report by Fred Katz of the Norman Transcript, rookie Terrance Ferguson has finally been granted clearance by FIBA. The move allows Ferguson to begin contract negotiations with the Thunder.
“Ferguson received clearance from FIBA on July 14, per a FIBA source, and is now eligible to negotiate a contract with the Thunder. The team does not have any official activities until training camp begins in September. He would need to be under contract to compete there. Oklahoma City chose him with the No. 21 selection in this past June’s draft, the team’s only pick of the night.”
FIBA, the governing body of international basketball, was believed to be the reason for Ferguson’s delayed signing. As he is the only 2017 first rounder yet to ink his rookie deal, it’s a great sign to see movement on this front. However, there may be more to Ferguson’s tardiness than waiting for the green light from FIBA.
Ferguson is represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports (LeBron James’ best friend), and Paul is well-known for holding out as long as needed in order to secure the largest payday possible. The FIBA hurdle was certainly an obstacle, but it’s possible further roadblocks remain financially. It wouldn’t be shocking to see this drag out as the two sides search for an agreement.
Taken 21st overall in June’s draft, the 19-year-old Ferguson doesn’t figure to be a large part of the Thunder’s plan this season. He averaged 4.6 points on 31 percent three-point shooting for the Adelaide 36ers (Australia) last season, and is presumed to be a project that will take time to develop. Even still — the earlier he can begin working with the team, the better.
More to come.