Yogi Ferrell

And-Ones: Collier, Mock Draft, In-Season Tournament, Ferrell

USC freshman guard Isaiah Collier has moved into the top spot in the latest mock draft from Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo of ESPN. Collier has been outstanding for the Trojans in the early part of the season, averaging 18.2 PPG while shooting 56% on two-point shots and 41% from beyond the arc. However, there are some concerns, Givony and Woo point out, including an abysmal turnover to assist rate of 5.3-to-4.

At 6’5″ and 210 pounds, Collier’s size is an asset for a point guard and he boasts a good combination of strength and speed, the authors add. He’s most effective in the open court, where he can attack the basket and finish at the rim in a variety of ways. He also has outstanding court vision and is comfortable passing with either hand.

French center Alexandre Sarr drops to second in the mock draft, as his defense has been more developed than his offense in Australia’s National Basketball League. With a 7’5″ wingspan, Sarr ranks second in the NBL in block percentage, but he’s shooting just 30% from three-point range and 56% from the foul line. French forward Zaccharie Risacher, Baylor guard Ja’Kobe Walter and G League Ignite forward Ron Holland round out the top five for Givony and Woo.

There’s more from around the basketball world:

  • There have been complaints about how the point-differential tie-breaker affected some of Tuesday’s in-season tournament games, but Suns star Devin Booker doesn’t see it as a problem, tweets Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “I’ve seen teams upset about it, I don’t know why. I’ve seen players upset about it, I don’t know why,” Booker said. “I wish every game was like that where you play until the end and it wasn’t viewed as disrespectful. Just high competition.” 
  • Seth Partnow of The Athletic suggests making point differential a lower-level tie-breaker in the tournament and giving teams points for each quarter that they win, similar to the system in the former Continental Basketball Association. He believes winning quarters would provide incentive for players to give maximum effort without the feeling that teams are intentionally running up the score.
  • Former NBA guard Yogi Ferrell has signed with KK Buducnost in Montenegro, according to Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops. It marks a return to Europe for the 30-year-old Ferrell after playing for the Shanghai Sharks.

And-Ones: Okafor, Ferrell, Rookies, Player Empowerment

Signing with Zaragoza in Spain hasn’t gone exactly according to plan for former No. 3 overall pick Jahlil Okafor, with the team stumbling out to a 3-7 record after he signed this summer. According to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia, Okafor is now departing Zaragoza to sign with a Chinese club, the Zhejiang Lions, who will pay for his buyout.

It sounds like the magnitude of the offer received from Zhejiang was the biggest sticking point for Okafor, and that it was more than he could’ve received from Zaragoza, as detailed in a piece from BasketNews.com.

Zaragoza head coach Porfirio Fisac openly discussed his thought process on the matter before Okafor left, as relayed by BasketNews.com.

If he leaves, for me right now in his career, it’s a mistake,” Fisac said. “I think he’d be mistaken. He’s played 15 or 20 games and is in good physical condition. It is true that he still has a lot to improve, but we cannot put more pressure on him in terms of changes of pace and efforts.

We are taking care of him. If he stays here, his career will be extended by 10 years. If he goes somewhere else, he will play five more years. It all depends on where the money is or whether you want to earn it today or later. Everyone has their own way of thinking.

Okafor, 27, holds six seasons of NBA experience across stints with the Sixers, Nets, Pelicans and Pistons. His last NBA appearance came in 2020/21 with Detroit. He averages 10.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 247 games (116 starts) for his career.

We have more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA guard Yogi Ferrell is receiving overseas interest, with Serbian club Partizan reaching out to the 30-year-old guard, according to Eurohoops.net. Partizan is currently dealing with injury issues in the backcourt, leading to their interest in Ferrell. Ferrell appeared in 259 games (53 starts) across five seasons in the NBA with the Nets, Mavericks, Kings, Cavaliers and Clippers. His last NBA appearance came in 2020/21 and he holds career averages of 7.7 points and 2.3 assists.
  • While Chet Holmgren and Victor Wembanyama have seemingly made the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award a two-man race early in the season, the entire crop of first-year players has been impressive. The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie took stock of rookies across the league, ranking Dereck Lively, Brandon Miller, Ausar Thompson, Jordan Hawkins and Cason Wallace as the next five (in order) behind Holmgren and Wembanyama on the league’s rookie ladder. It’s a different take on the rookie class than what ESPN’s Bobby Marks and Kevin Pelton offered last week — ESPN’s duo was a touch higher on Detroit’s Marcus Sasser and lower on Lively, though all of Marks, Pelton and Vecenie agreed Holmgren was the overall most impressive rookie so far.
  • This summer’s trade requests from Damian Lillard and James Harden added another chapter to the NBA’s player empowerment saga. According to Heavy Sports’ Steve Bulpett, NBA owners are seeking ways to prevent or minimize the practice of players demanding trades in the fashion we’ve been accustomed to. “I think the whole player empowerment piece that has been running in the league for last couple of years? I think it’s about run its course, because so many just haven’t worked out,” Bulpett’s Eastern Conference source said.

Shanghai Sharks Add Noah Vonleh, Yogi Ferrell

Noah Vonleh and Yogi Ferrell have signed with the Shanghai Sharks for the upcoming season, according to Dario Skerletic of Sportando.

Vonleh previously played for the Chinese Basketball Association team during the 2021/22 season before returning to the NBA with the Celtics last summer. He appeared in 23 games for Boston, averaging 1.1 points and 2.1 rebounds in 7.4 minutes per night. He was traded to the Spurs in early January before his contract became guaranteed, and San Antonio immediately waived him.

Vonleh was taken by Charlotte with the ninth pick in the 2014 draft, but other than three seasons in Portland, he never spent more than a year with any of his eight NBA teams.

Panathinaikos in Greece reportedly considered signing Vonleh in July, but he opted to return to Shanghai instead.

Ferrell has been out of the NBA since finishing the 2020/21 season with the Clippers. The 30-year-old guard played briefly with Panathinaikos, then moved on to Cedevita Olimpija, where he was named MVP of the Slovenian Basketball League Finals last season.

Ferrell played for five teams during his five NBA seasons.

And-Ones: In-Season Tournament, Lillard, Beal, Williams, Ferrell

Earlier this week, the NBA’s Board of Governors decided to make the play-in tournament a regularly scheduled event. At the same meeting, the Board also discussed the possibility of an in-season tournament, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

According to Charania, the format would have all 30 teams competing, with eight teams advancing to a single-elimination round to determine the winner. The NBA’s “Final Four” would be held at a neutral site. However, the in-season tournament won’t happen until at least the 2023/24 season.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • It’s inevitable the extensions given by the Trail Blazers to Damian Lillard and by the Wizards to Bradley Beal will come back to haunt those franchises, John Hollinger of The Athletic opines. Lillard is projected to make a cap-killing $63MM in 2026/27 when he’s 36, Hollinger notes. The Wizards gave Beal a five-year deal that pays him $70MM more than he could have gotten elsewhere and they added a no-trade clause, both of which could doom the franchise to mediocrity.
  • Former NBA forward Derrick Williams has agreed to a one-year deal with Panathinaikos Athens, according to Sportando. Williams played for Maccabi Tel Aviv last season. The No. 2 overall pick of the 2011 draft hasn’t played an NBA game since the 2017/18 season.
  • Former NBA guard Yogi Ferrell is re-signing with Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana, according to Sportando. He averaged 12.6 PPG in ABA Liga games, 15.3 PPG in EuroCup and 13.8 PPG in domestic league contests for the Slovenian team last season. Ferrell played for the Clippers in the 2020/21 regular season and playoffs before going overseas.
  • From stars sitting out regular-season games to high draft picks getting shut down in the Summer League, the league has a major problem with its recognizable players simply not playing enough, argues Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

And-Ones: Franchise Valuations, Maker, Ferrell, J. Smith

Kurt Badenhausen of Sportico has released his annual NBA franchise valuations, with the Knicks ($6.12 billion), Warriors ($6.03 billion), and Lakers ($5.63 billion) leading the way. Those three clubs are far and away the NBA’s most valuable, in Sportico’s view — no other team is valued above $3.61 billion, which is where the fourth-place Nets land, and the average league-wide valuation is about $2.6 billion.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA lottery pick Thon Maker and Hapoel Jerusalem have parted ways, the Israeli team announced earlier this week (via Twitter). Maker, who spent part of last season with the Cavaliers, is once again a free agent.
  • Veteran guard Yogi Ferrell recently signed with a team in Slovenia, but he remains focused on playing his way back to the NBA, he said this week on Eurohoops’ EurohooPOD podcast. “I definitely want to get back over there and still show I belong in the league,” Ferrell said.
  • While Paolo Banchero and Chet Holmgren have long been viewed as the consensus top two prospects in the 2022 draft class, John Hollinger of The Athletic says that Auburn’s Jabari Smith is making a legitimate case to be considered at No. 1.
  • The Bulls‘ organization is being impacted by COVID-19 at multiple levels. Like the NBA squad, the G League’s Windy City Bulls have had their schedule affected by the health and safety protocols and won’t take part in the upcoming NBAGL Winter Showcase, the league announced in a press release.

Yogi Ferrell To Resume Career in Slovenia

After recently parting ways with Greek club Panathinaikos, Yogi Ferrell has lined up a new opportunity in Europe, having signed for the rest of the season with KK Cedevita Olimpija, the Slovenian club announced in a press release.

Ferrell, 28, appeared in a total of 259 regular season NBA games from 2016-21 with the Nets, Mavericks, Kings, Cavaliers, and Clippers. The veteran point guard finished last season with the Clippers, appearing in eight total regular season games for L.A. He averaged 4.6 PPG and 2.1 APG in 12.0 MPG, then logged garbage-time minutes in nine postseason contests.

Although Ferrell was under contract for 2021/22, his salary was non-guaranteed, so the Clippers waived him in September without taking on any dead money. Ferrell signed with Panathinaikos in October, but was unhappy with the limited role he played for the team.

Ferrell’s new team is based in Ljubljana, Slovenia and competes in the ABA League and the EuroCup. Olimpija is off to a 5-4 start in ABA play and has a 2-3 record in EuroCup play.

And-Ones: Ferrell, Red Sox Owners, Mobley, Allen

Former NBA guard Yogi Ferrell has left Greece’s Panathinaikos in order to seek a better opportunity, per Stavros Barbarousis of EuroHoops.net. Ferrell was unhappy with his limited role — he was averaging just eight minutes in five EuroLeague games. The 28-year-old point guard was waived by the Clippers in September after spending the last five years in the NBA.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Fenway Sports Group wants to buy an NBA team once its acquisition of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins is completed, Axios’ Dan Primack reports. FSG has been buying marquee franchises in different geographic markets. It not only owns the Boston Red Sox, it also has also acquired a NASCAR team and the Liverpool F.C. soccer club. Additionally, it has an investment in Spring Hill Group, a content production firm co-founded by LeBron James.
  • Cavaliers big man Evan Mobley tops ESPN’s first rookie power rankings this season. Writer Mike Schmitz ranks the Raptors’ Scottie Barnes and the Pistons’ Cade Cunningham second and third, respectively. Mobley is currently out due to an elbow injury.
  • Tony Allen has asked the Grizzlies to postpone his jersey retirement until next season, according to Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Allen is currently dealing with federal charges for his alleged role in a multi-million dollar health insurance fraud scheme. Allen’s jersey retirement was scheduled for January 28.

Greek Team Announces Deal With Yogi Ferrell

Yogi Ferrell has signed with Panathinaikos with Greece, the team announced (via Twitter). There was a report of negotiations two weeks ago, but it took time to finalize a deal as Ferrell was hoping to land another NBA opportunity.

The deal is a lucrative one-year contract, a source told Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw (Twitter link). It also contains an NBA out.

The 28-year-old point guard was waived by the Clippers last month after spending the last five years in the NBA. He came to L.A. on a 10-day contract in April and signed with the team for the remainder of the season, averaging 4.6 points and 2.1 points off the bench in eight games. He had a non-guaranteed $1.98MM salary for 2021/22 before the Clippers cut him loose.

Ferrell also played two games for the Cavaliers in January and was in the G League with the Salt Lake City Stars.

This will be Ferrell’s first experience in the EuroLeague, notes Antonis Stroggylakis of EuroHoops, who adds that the guard’s contract will run through the rest of the season. Ferrell began exploring his options in Europe earlier this summer in case he didn’t get invited to an NBA training camp, according to Stroggylakis, who notes that Panathinaikos is a traditional league power, but could use backcourt help.

Yogi Ferrell In Talks With Greek Team?

9:25am: A source told JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link) that no deal between the sides is imminent. Ferrell continues to keep his options open for an opportunity with an NBA team.

9:15am: Yogi Ferrell, who was waived by the Clippers three weeks ago, is in talks to join Panathinaikos in Greece, writes Dario Skerletic of Sportando. The news was first reported by Gazzetta.gr.

The 28-year-old point guard appeared in eight games for L.A. last season after joining the team in April on a 10-day contract and then signing for the rest of the year. He also played two games for the Cavaliers in January and averaged a combined 5.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists for the season. In addition, Ferrell was in the G League bubble with the Salt Lake City Stars.

He had a non-guaranteed $1.98MM salary for the upcoming season, but the Clippers decided to explore other options for backcourt help. The Thunder were rumored to have interest in Ferrell, but it appears he will be headed overseas.

Ferrell began his career with the Nets in 2016 after going undrafted out of Indiana. He later signed with the Mavericks and enjoyed his best season in 2017/18, playing all 82 games and averaging 10.2 PPG. He then spent two years with the Kings and signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Jazz last offseason, but never played for Utah.

International Notes: Ferrell, M. Thomas, Zhou, Canada

Veteran guard Yogi Ferrell, who cleared waivers today after being released by the Clippers late on Sunday night, would like to find another NBA opportunity this fall. However, he isn’t ruling out the possibility of moving overseas and playing in Europe for the first time in his career, according to Stefanos Tatsios of Eurohoops.net.

The Thunder could be an option for Ferrell if he remains stateside, per Alessandro Maggi of Sportando (Twitter link). However, Oklahoma City might not have any regular season roster spots available, so Ferrell’s best chance to get some job security and regular playing time could come overseas.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the international basketball world:

  • Before he signed a non-guaranteed contract with Chicago, sharpshooter Matt Thomas drew interest from multiple EuroLeague teams, including CSKA Moscow, according to a report from Spanish outlet Encestando (Twitter link). If Thomas doesn’t make the Bulls’ regular season roster, a return to Europe seems like a possibility — he spent two seasons in Spain from 2017-19, so he’s no stranger to international basketball.
  • Former Rockets big man Zhou Qi, a second-round pick in the 2016 draft, has officially signed a two-year deal with South East Melbourne Phoenix in Australia’s National Basketball League, the team announced in a press release. Zhou, who appeared in just 19 total games with Houston across two seasons in 2017-18, got a second-year player option on his new contract.
  • Veteran basketball executive Glen Grunwald, who had stints with Denver, Toronto, and New York, is retiring as president and CEO of Canada Basketball, per a press release. Michael Bartlett will succeed Grunwald, who will remain involved with Canada Basketball in a part-time advisory role through the 2024 Paris Olympics, according to Eric Koreen of The Athletic (Twitter link).