The financial security Yogi Ferrell was searching for arrived Tuesday when the Dallas Mavericks signed the rookie point guard to a two-year contract.
With that, Ferrell, nearly surrounded at his locker by a rather large number of reporters, described just how special Tuesday was for him and his family.
“It’s a great day,” Ferrell said. “One of the happiest days of my life.
“Now I can go out there and play free. But I’m going to still play how I play — hard on both ends of the court, because I’m a winner.”
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We saw enough. He’s making me look smarter than the average bear.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban
Ferrell signed a 10-day contract with the Mavs on Jan. 28. And after he dazzled the Mavs with his frenetic style of basketball for three games last week, owner Mark Cuban took the unusual step of bypassing the signing of Ferrell to a second 10-day contract and secured a longer-term deal.
“We saw enough,” Cuban said. “He’s making me look smarter than the average bear.”
The Mavs were aware that other teams could have signed Ferrell if he hadn’t been under contract. Ferrell, in fact, said teams from Europe had contacted his agent a day before he signed with the Mavs.
While thrust into the starting lineup, Ferrell had successful outings against Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs), Kyrie Irving (world champion Cleveland Cavaliers) and Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers in three of his first four games. That includes torching the Blazers for 32 points while converting an NBA rookie record nine 3-pointers in 11 attempts last Friday.
“He’s been doing a lot of good things,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s doing what we asked him to do and that is to be aggressive, shoot when open and be an aggressive guy and be a threat to score and have your passing come off of that.
“We didn’t expect him to go for 30 the other night, but guys get on a roll and these things can happen. But I don’t think it’s reasonable for him to go for those kind of crazy numbers every game.”
Ferrell went undrafted last June, played 10 games with the Brookyln Nets earlier this season and was toiling with the Long Island Nets in the NBA Development League when the Mavs discovered him.
We didn’t expect him to go for 30 the other night ... But I don’t think it’s reasonable for him to go for those kind of crazy numbers every game.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle
Ferrell, who averaged 17.5 points and five assists in his first five games with the Mavs, said: “I tried to go out there and play as if I’ve been a part of the Dallas Mavericks the entire year.”
Williams, Bogut iffy
Carlisle isn’t sure when point guard Deron Williams and center Andrew Bogut will be able to play again.
Williams has missed the last seven games because of a left great toe sprain. Bogut has sat out the past six games with a right hamstring strain.
Carlisle hasn’t determined if either will return at some point on this four-game homestand, play in the Feb. 15 game at Detroit, or just wait and return after the Feb. 17-19 All-Star Weekend.
“My sense is D-Will is closer than Bogut off of kind of what I heard,” Carlisle said. “But my hope is they’ll both be ready before the break is here.”