Ferrell becomes the first Dallas rookie since Devin Harris in November 2004 to receive the award. The undrafted rookie averaged 12 points (leading all rookies) and just under five assists in February.
The Mavericks signed the 23-year-old Indiana product to a 10-day contract on Jan. 28 after a successful stint with the Brooklyn Nets’ D-League affiliate in Long Island. In need of a healthy point guard due to injuries to Deron Williams and J.J. Barea, Ferrell was thrown into the starting lineup a day later in San Antonio, recording nine points and seven assists in Dallas’ first win at AT&T Center in 13 tries.
The next night, Ferrell had 19 points, three assists and four steals in his home debut, a shocking 18-point win over the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
And just when many thought Ferrell hit his peak, he tied an NBA rookie record with nine three-pointers and scored a career-high 32 points on Feb. 3 in a 108-104 Mavericks win in Portland. Dallas signed Ferrell to a two-year contract the next day.
The Mavericks have since placed their full confidence in Ferrell as the starting point guard, at least for the rest of the season. Dallas waived Williams right before last week’s trade deadline.
While the numbers aren’t quite as impressive as some Rookie of the Month performances, this is still a feel-good moment for Yogi. His numbers have been up and down since he stormed onto the NBA scene, but his confidence will likely grow with every start he earns from here on out. Even though the Mavericks are still on the outside looking in for a playoff spot, watching Ferrell grow as part of Dallas’ young nucleus has been fun to watch.
He might be far out of the Rookie of the Year conversation, but one can still hope he storms to the top with Joel Embiid out for the year. After all, he’s probably smarter than your average point guard.