For the first time in his young NBA career, Yogi Ferrell got to play against the team that gave up on him.
Ferrell went undrafted last summer, but wound up playing on the Brooklyn Nets’ summer league team. The quicksilver point guard later signed with the Nets on Aug. 5, but was waived on Oct. 21 after playing in three preseason games.
From there, Brooklyn’s NBA Development League squad – the Long Island Nets – signed Ferrell on Nov. 1. He was eventually called up by the Nets three times, but never could find solid footing with the team.
“I spent many months with them, especially in a hotel,” Ferrell said. “I had a great time with the Nets – in training camp, a new staff there. I learned a lot from them. It got me to this point here.”
In dire need of point guard help, the Dallas Mavericks – who hosted the Nets on Friday – rolled the dice and signed Ferrell to a 10-day contract on Jan. 28. The six-footer played so impressively that the Mavs skipped the customary routine of a second 10-day contract and instead inked him to a two-year deal that’ll pay him $208,000 this season and $1.3 million next year.
In the meantime, Ferrell has been named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for February.
Nets point guard Jeremy Lin, who knows firsthand about being an overnight success, has been impressed with what he’s seen from Ferrell, who is averaging 12.4 points and 5.1 assists in 17 games with the Mavs.
“I think he’s one of those guys who everybody labeled him as something probably because of his height or something,” Lin said. “But he’s much better than what the draft board indicated, and I knew that.
“I think our whole team kind of understood that just playing with him and against him in training camp. So we’re definitely happy for him. He’s just a competitor, so you have to match his energy and go out there and compete against him as well.”
Acy’s good life
The Mavs reluctantly released Quincy Acy on Nov. 18 and he eventually signed a two-year contract with the Brooklyn Nets on Jan. 30.
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson thought so highly of Acy that he started the Mesquite Horn High School product during Friday’s game against the Mavs. Atkinson said it was because of the effort Acy has been giving the Nets.
“He’s playing well,” Atkinson said. “I think it’s rewarding him for his good play.
“An added bonus is he played in Dallas and I think that’s pretty neat, from here, so that’s great. But the real decision was this guy’s playing good basketball and we need him in the lineup.”
Acy said it wasn’t weird playing the Mavs – the team he thought he was going to be with for an extended period of time.
“I’m pretty much used to it now,” Acy said. “This is like my sixth team in five or six years, so it’s nothing new for me.”
“This is home for me regardless of where I’m playing, but I’m excited to be back. It just always feels good to be back in Texas.”
Mavs center Nerlens Noel missed Friday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets with a sore left knee.
It’s unclear if Noel will be able to play when the Mavs host the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night. But the Mavs want to be cautious with his injury.
“It’s not considered serious – day-to-day,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “But we’re going to hold him out tonight and see where we are tomorrow.”
The Mavs acquired Noel on Feb. 23 in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. In six games with the Mavs, Noel is averaging 10 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 24.2 minutes per contest.