Yogi Ferrell is a miracle.
Plucked from the undrafted scrap-heap, Ferrell thrived in Dallas after being cut by the Brooklyn Nets. He had a historic game against Portland, dropping 32 points and nailing nine three-pointers. After that game he never truly dipped too far off, finishing the season averaging 11.3 points and 4.3 assists on 40.3 percent shooting from three as a Maverick (his overall numbers aren’t that much lower).
His performance is getting some attention around the league. NBA awards voters sent their ballots in on Friday and many writers and outlets are sharing their votes or who they would have voted for. Here’s what some have had to say about Ferrell.
CBS Sports: Ferrell narrowly missed the cut for All-Rookie
Yogi Ferrell: Like Brogdon and McGruder, this dude has an awesome story. He was undrafted and then waived by the worst team in the league, the Nets, before catching on with Dallas on a 10-day contract. He hit nine triples on a magical night in Portland, then proved it wasn't a fluke by contributing for the rest of the season.
NBC Sports: Ferrell makes second-team All-Rookie
Chicago Tribune: Ferrell gets second-team All-Rookie honors
ESPN.com’s Zach Lowe: Ferrell was close, but ultimately didn’t do enough to make the cut
Lowe briefly broke down why the Lakers Brandon Ingram sneaked onto the second-team over guys like Ferrell and the Sun’s Marquese Chriss:
Ingram and Chriss were hard to evaluate. They played more than most rookies, but they walked into those minutes on teams trying to lose. They contributed to that losing. How do you weigh that against Yogi Ferrell shooting almost 41 percent from 3 for a Mavs team that flirted with playoff contention before wheezing into submission? Or Taurean Prince surging late into a starting role for an actual playoff team? Or Domantas Sabonis serving as a placeholder starter on a good team until a trade brought in someone better?
In the end, I just liked the way Ingram played more than I did Chriss. Ingram's hideous shooting numbers ticked up over the last month, and he was better at blending into the Lakers' system. He never forced the action, or sped out of control. He's a good passer, he cuts, and he can run a workable pick-and-roll. He tries on defense, and his long arms can be a real deterrent.
Chriss has better stats, and he's going to be good. But he spent most of the season sort of running around with no idea what was happening -- especially on defense, where he was chronically confused and out of position. The Suns were right to play him: He learned on the court, and helped sabotage their season.
Lowe is big on minutes played and meaningful contribution and Yogi’s full-season didn’t quite make it for him.
Had Ferrell played all year in Dallas, I bet he’d be an almost unanimous Rookie team selection. Not only was Ferrell a good shooter from deep, but he made the Mavericks better (albeit just a tad) while he was on the floor, according to NBA.com. I’m still kind of stunned by how Ferrell stuck around after his Portland game. I totally thought it was a flash in the pan and that his meteoric game against Portland would prop up his numbers for the rest of the season.
More on Yogi later as player reviews continue, but it’s nice to see him getting some recognition in some awards balloting.