3. Tyrell Terry: Guard-Stanford
If the 2020 NBA draft had happened in late June, as it usually does, then Tyrell Terry could have been a second-round pick. Listed at only 6’2 and 160 pounds, the diminutive Terry lacked the physicality that NBA teams covet.
However, Terry used the time off to hit the gym hard and weighed in at 170 pounds at the NBA draft combine while also showing improved athleticism. What has never been a question with Terry is his ability to score the ball from all over the court.
In his lone season at Stanford, Terry went from a potential redshirt candidate to averaging 14.6 points a game on 40.8-percent 3-point shooting. Terry is not the prospect that Trae Young was coming out of college but he has shown flashes of the long-range scoring ability that modern NBA offenses thrive on.
The Rockets need to swing for the fences and Terry could be that homerun. His combination of elite shooting and work ethic portend, at the very least, a long NBA career. What will ultimately decide his upside will be his defense and playmaking.
Terry’s small stature will prevent him from being an elite defender but through the right supporting cast and defensive system, this deficiency can be minimized in the way that the Golden State Warriors are able to protect Steph Curry on the defensive end.
Terry’s passing will also need to improve for him to be an offensive cornerstone but scouts believe his feel for the game will allow him to grow in this department substantially. If the Rockets move on from James Harden and Russell Westbrook, that will create ample opportunities for Terry to hone his playmaking.
The NBA is prioritizing shooting and playmaking more than ever, which makes Terry’s physical limitations less of a problem than they would have been in other eras. The best-case scenario for Terry is as a flame-throwing scorer, with his floor as a 3-point specialist that can help space the floor.
Next: Prospect No. 2