Terrence Ross, Shooting Guard/Small Forward
Contract Status: 2 years/$21 million
2016-17 stats: 78 Games, 11.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 43.7% FG, 36.3% 3PT, 83.1% FT
PER 36 stats: 78 Games, 15.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 43.7% FG, 36.3% 3PT, 83.1% FT
Terrence Ross began last year as a key bench contributor for the Toronto Raptors. With the Raptors preparing to challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers in an Eastern Conference finals rematch, Toronto opted to trade Ross to the Orlando Magic before the trade deadline. The transaction sending Serge Ibaka to Toronto in exchange for Terrence Ross would be viewed as a new beginning for Ross. Stepping out of the shadows of all-star teammates Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan, Ross would have an opportunity to make his own name on a young and rebuilding Orlando Magic squad. With an increase in minutes going from 22.4 per game to 31.2, Ross’ output also improved across the board. His points per game increased from 10.4 to 12.5, rebounds from 2.6 to 2.8, and assists from .8 to 1.8 per game. Ross started all 24 games he participated in after the trade.
According to ESPN’s John Hollinger’s Player Efficiency Rating, he ranks 21th amongst Small Forward and 186th league wide at 13.46. Other notable players in Ross’ range include Rajon Rondo (13.59), Ryan Anderson (13.53), and Eric Gordan (13.16).
Strengths of Terrence Ross
Terrence Ross’ core strength is his raw athleticism. He is textbook a high flyer putting on a dunk-fest display at the 2013 NBA Dunk Contest. Ross is known as an alley-oop and and rim finisher in transition. He also has the ability to light it up from three-point range. Ross is a career 37.4% shooter from deep with his best season finishing just shy of 40%. With his ability to shoot the three ball, he can be a handful to contain. Once Ross gets into a rhythm, the extra attention he receives makes it easier for him to become a playmaker. Ross has great vision with the ball in his hands and does a good job of finding the open man for the higher percentage shot.
Weaknesses of Terrence Ross
Throughout his NBA career, the one knock on Terrence Ross has been his consistency. A good amount of his inconsistency can be attributed to Ross’s role with the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors ran a very isolation heavy offense which caused players to watch Demar Derozan and Kyle Lowry play their individual games. Depending on the matchups Ross might be the 6th man or the 8th man yo-yo-ing between 15 and 30 minutes of playing time. With more responsibility being given to Ross, hopefully his play will become more consistent.
Areas of improvement
Next season, Ross should look to improve on his three-point shooting effectiveness. The biggest hole in the Magic’s offense right now is shooting. If Ross can improve his scoring from deep he will most definitely be the key to the Magic’s success. While Terrance Ross has shown that he can make teams pay from behind the arch he needs to do so consistently. Having a constant threat on the perimeter helps to spread the floor and give room for Elfrid Payton to facilitate the offense. Another area to focus on for Ross will be his defense. Head coach Frank Vogel is very high on defense and values players that take pride in their defense. Having the ability to put the ball in the hoop as well as having the heart to stop opponents from scoring will earn Ross extra minutes in crunch time.
2017-18 Orlando Magic Season Expectations
This will be Terrence Ross’ first full season with the Orlando Magic. This will also be the Orlando Magic first consecutive season with the same coaching staff. The Magic really feel like they were figuring out how to play together towards the end of last season. Expect Terrance Ross to play a major role on the offensive end of the court.
The Orlando Magic sorely need a go to scorer that can get points when everyone else runs cold. This is the season where Terrence Ross gets the opportunity to show the NBA that he can take the lead role. The Magic recently signed free agent Jonathon Simmons, formerly of the San Antonio Spurs. Simmons will look to push both Ross and Evan Fournier for minutes. With Jonathan Isaac vying for time at Small Forward someone will need to stand out in order to lock down a slot in the starting five.
With so much competition on the wings, Terrence Ross might see his minutes take a slight dip this season. However, the Magic did like the results they received from going with a smaller lineup towards the end of last season. The Magic have several wings and multiple position players currently on the roster. This suggests that Orlando will be looking to play a faster pace and take advantage of the teams overall athleticism. If this is the case Ross may be on the floor more than expected.