It appears as though, barring an injury, Yogi Ferrell will be with the Dallas Mavericks for the remainder of this season.
At least that’s according to owner Mark Cuban.
Ferrell has been a big hit with the Mavs and their fans since signing a 10-day contract last Saturday. In three games with Dallas — all starts — entering Friday’s contest in Portland, the 6-foot point guard was averaging 13 points, five assists and 2.3 steals in 37 minutes.
Then Friday night, Ferrell had a remarkable shooting performance, hitting 9 of 11 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 32 points as the Mavericks defeated the Trail Blazers 108-104.
Coach Rick Carlisle, Cuban and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson have all been overly pleased with the production by Ferrell, who went undrafted last summer.
Ferrell’s 10-day contract expires after Monday’s game at Denver, but Cuban said he plans to sign him to a second 10-day contract after that. From there, under NBA rules, the Mavs must either sign Ferrell for the remainder of the season or waive him.
If there’s a guy that has his retention — within the last 19 years on this level — I can’t remember it.
Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, on Yogi Ferrell’s “crash course”
When asked if the Mavs indeed have plans on signing Ferrell for the rest of this season, Cuban said: “I’m pretty sure that’s what will happen. It won’t be my final call.
“It’ll be coach and Donnie’s. It’s not a money issue, and so it’ll be up to them.”
Cuban, of course, knows that two days after he signed point guard Pierre Jackson to a second 10-day contract, the former Baylor Bears star strained his left hamstring and would have been sidelined for the duration of that second 10-day contract.
Since guards J.J. Barea and Deron Williams are already out with injuries, the Mavs reluctantly had to waive Jackson, and then the search was on for a replacement, which ended with the signing of Ferrell.
The Jackson saga is why Cuban, when asked about Ferrell going forward, said: “You just never know. But he’s more than earned his second 10-day [contract], at least.”
Nelson certainly has no opposition to having Ferrell with the Mavs for the remainder of this season.
“Coach did an unusually exceptional crash course, and that young man is a sponge,” Nelson said. “If there’s a guy that has his retention — within the last 19 years on this level — I can’t remember it.”
Ferrell was playing for the Long Island Nets of the NBA Development League before joining the Mavs. And he made a big splash right away.
In his first game with the Mavs, Ferrell had nine points and seven rebounds during a 105-101 win in San Antonio on Sunday. With the Mavs up by just two points, he stepped to the foul line and tossed in a pair of free throws to ice the game with 7.3 seconds left.
I felt like I had maybe 10 out of 16 really impressive workouts with different teams, so I felt like I could sneak in [the draft], but it didn’t happen.
Mavericks guard Yogi Ferrell
The very next day with the world champion Cleveland Cavaliers in Dallas, Ferrell finished with 19 points, five rebounds and four steals during a 104-97 triumph over LeBron James and company.
“That’s exactly how we scripted it, step in and start against two of the top three teams in the league,” Nelson said. “It’s just really kind of a special moment in time and he put himself in a great position.
“It’s really very unique and he obviously was kind of the straw that stirred the drink for those two games against pretty formidable opponents. So let’s just hope the trend continues.”
Ferrell was not chosen in last summer’s NBA Draft, but eventually played 10 games this season for the Brooklyn Nets. He had a pre-draft workout with the Mavs, but they never gave him an indication that they were seriously thinking about drafting him.
Yogi Ferrell usually is substituted in and out of games with Dirk Nowitzki, because there’s more space on the floor, Rick Carlisle says.
“I felt like I had maybe 10 out of 16 really impressive workouts with different teams, so I felt like I could sneak in [the draft], but it didn’t happen,” Ferrell said. “So I went down a list of options of teams that wanted me for their summer league and training camp and I went with Brooklyn.
“Not getting drafted, I was never down on myself. I stayed with it, I stayed in the gym and continued to work and just knew that my time was going to come.”
Carlisle said he primarily prefers to make sure superstar forward Dirk Nowitzki is on the floor the majority of the time when Ferrell is in the game.
“If you look at the substitution patterns, he’s generally going in and out of the games with Dirk,” Carlisle said. “That’s a good situation for a guard because of the way teams play Dirk — there’s more space on the floor.
“We want Yogi to be aggressive. He’s getting a lot of attention because he’s scored more than expected and he’s played a lot of minutes because he’s been an effective defender.”