Everyone remembers how Yogi Ferrell burst onto the scene for the Dallas Mavericks in the 2016-17 season. In his first two games with the team, he helped them take down the San Antonio Spurs and the Cleveland Cavaliers in back-to-back games. Then he officially put the NBA on notice when he poured in 32 points in a clutch road performance against the Portland Trail Blazers, including nine three-pointers, which tied a rookie record.
After the Mavs selected Dennis Smith Jr. with the ninth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Ferrell’s role with the team seemed uncertain. Smith was projected as the starting point guard, and the Mavs had Seth Curry and established veteran guards J.J. Barea and Devin Harris in the mix as well, making it hard to figure out where Ferrell’s minutes would come from. As we all know, Curry ended up missing the entire season due to a stress reaction injury, and Harris was eventually traded to the Denver Nuggets, opening up an opportunity for Ferrell to prove that last season was no fluke.
Here’s what Ferrell’s stats looked like compared to his fairly short rookie season with the Mavs last year.
Yogi Ferrell: Year One to Year Two
Everything stayed about the same when it came to his point, assist, rebound and minutes-per-game averages. Ferrell’s three-point percentage dropped slightly, but his increase from 41.8-percent to 47.7-percent on two-point shots was a very encouraging sign. Ferrell’s shot mechanics have always seemed to be more refined than most younger players in the league, and I suspect that he will continue to improve going forward, especially if he signs on with the Mavs long-term and has the opportunity to continue working with Rick Carlisle.
An underrated aspect to Ferrell’s game is his durability. He’s not always going to blow you away with his stats, but you can always count on him to be on the court, producing off the bench or even sometimes as a starter. This season, Ferrell played in all 82 games while averaging close to 30 minutes per night, which is an incredible feat in today’s NBA.
Ferrell will be looking for a brand new contract this summer, whether it’s with the Mavs or another team. He will be a restricted free agent on July 1, and the Mavs will have the chance to either offer Ferrell a new contract right off the bat, or they can wait to see if another team signs him to an offer sheet before making a decision to match it or not.
As with a lot of these roster-building decisions, a lot is going to be determined by what the Mavs end up doing in the draft. However, I think its a safe bet that Ferrell will be back in Dallas before it’s all said and done. There are a ton of good point guards in the league right now, and I don’t see any other team offering Ferrell something above the $5 million per year range.
Ferrell’s size limitations will keep him from ever being a full-time starter, but, if needed, he is more than capable of stepping into that role from time to time. With Barea aging and Harris now being out of town, Ferrell could be the next great Mavs point guard off the bench for many years to come. I fully expect Ferrell to sign back on with the Mavs this summer, continuing to be a high-quality backup to Smith. The Mavs pretty much discovered Ferrell, and now they’ve invested a lot of time in his development, so letting him walk at this point would probably be a tough pill to swallow.