by Rob Cao
On January 27, 2021, the Salt Lake City Stars announced the signing of veteran point guard Yogi Ferrell. Ferrell has played for the Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, and Cleveland Cavaliers. It is evident that Ferrell has bounced around the league. He has not yet been able to play at a consistent enough rate for a team to want to keep him as part of their rotation.
In 2016, after several successful college seasons at Indiana, Ferrell decided to enter the NBA Draft. Unfortunately, Ferrell did not end up getting drafted. The Brooklyn Nets signed him to their summer league team in which he averaged almost 8.8 points per game and 1.8 assists per game in four total summer league games played. The Nets ended up giving Ferrell a contract but ultimately, he was cut from the team after playing in three preseason games. A couple weeks after being released the Long Island Nets (G-League affiliate for the Brooklyn Nets), they decided to offer Ferrell a contract. Eight days after being signed, Ferrell was called up to the Brooklyn Nets and made his NBA debut on November 9, 2016. In his first NBA game, Ferrell had five points, one steal, and three assists after fourteen minutes of playing time. Ferrell ended up playing in ten games for the Brooklyn Nets and ended the season in the G-League with Long Island.
The following season, Ferrell signed a ten- day contract with the Dallas Mavericks. In his Mavs debut, Ferrell scored nine points and dished out seven assists. In his second game with Dallas he scored nineteen points followed up by scoring thirty-two points in his fourth game with the team. Ferrell made NBA history by becoming only the third ever undrafted player to score thirty points in one of his first fifteen NBA games. Following this hot start, Ferrell signed a multi-year deal to stay with the Dallas Mavericks. Ferrell was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for February of 2017. In July of 2018, Ferrell decided to leave Dallas and sign a deal with the Sacramento Kings.
After two underwhelming seasons with the Kings, the team decided to release Ferrell on December 18, 2020.
Ferrell’s next NBA stint started this year on January 11. He signed a ten-day contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Ferrell scored a total of nineteen points in two games played as a member of the Cavs. Unfortunately for Ferrell, he was waived by Cleveland after these two games.
Ferrell now signed a deal with the Salt Lake City Stars on January 27. Ferrell’s veteran presence will surely help the younger members of the Utah Jazz G-League affiliate. Although he has bounced around and has not been able to find a consistence home, Ferrell has shown signs of being a capable NBA player. Ferrell is averaging 36 percent from three. That is the percentage of someone who can be a second or third-string shooter off the bench for an NBA playoff team.
If Ferrell produces consistently for the Stars, perhaps the Jazz will be interested in signing Ferrell. If done, this move may be able to help the Jazz later into the season and into the playoffs. By signing Ferrell, Utah would be signing a veteran point guard with experience and a nice three-point shot. If Ferrell can produce some nice minutes off the bench, I believe Mike Conley will benefit heavily. By giving Conley less minutes, he will have more energy for the playoffs. Health is crucial, especially for a team competing for an NBA Championship like the Jazz. By taking minutes away from Conley in the regular season, the Jazz will only benefit in the playoffs because Conley will be well rested and ready to compete to bring a championship to Utah.
Another scenario in which this signing might benefit the team would be if someone like Conley or Jordan Clarkson were to have injuries late into the season. Ferrell could perhaps come in and make up for the absence of two key pieces to this Utah Jazz team. I believe Ferrell has a huge shot to prove to the Jazz that he belongs in the league. If he has a good showing with the Stars, there is no doubt Ferrell will be signed an NBA team, whether it be the Jazz or another team.
Ferrell was such a consistent, key aspect of the Mavericks’ success. If the Stars and eventually the Jazz are able to get that Ferrell from Dallas back, this can be one of the most underrated signings of the season in the whole league.
Featured image courtesy Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images