Yogi Ferrell

Texas Notes: Curry, Parker, Anthony, Paul

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is leaning toward Seth Curry as his opening-night starter at shooting guard, according to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Curry is competing for the position with Yogi Ferrell, who has been working with the first team in practice alongside rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. Regardless, Carlisle says Curry “probably” has the edge for the starting position. “I’ve just been real impressed with him the first week and right now, it makes sense,” the coach said. “I’m not saying it’s 100 percent. But we need a consistent scorer and a guy who can guard that position and he’s continued to make strides.”

Curry started 42 of his 70 games a year ago in his first season with Dallas, averaging 12.8 points and 2.7 assists per game. He led the team on a second-half surge after joining the starting lineup in January. Dirk Nowitzki, Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews are expected to join Curry and Smith as the opening-night starting five.

There’s more NBA news out of Texas:

  • Spurs coach Gregg Popovich offered a health update on Tony Parker, saying the injured point guard could be ready to return in December, relays Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. Parker received partial medical clearance last week for training camp and expressed hope that he could return in November from the torn quadriceps tendon that knocked him out of the playoffs. Parker has been approved for weight work, running and shooting, but not for any contact drills. “I think he’s going to be ahead of schedule,” Popovich said. “I kept thinking he might be ready in January or something. He might be ready in December. He’s come along really well.”
  • After listening to Carmelo Anthony trade rumors all summer, the Rockets are ready to move on, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Houston was considered the likely landing spot for Anthony right up until he was traded to Oklahoma City. However, Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, who once coached Anthony in New York, said talks never got far enough that he expected him to join the team. “We’re human. We think about possibilities,” D’Antoni said. “If we can get that guy, look at this. Then reality sets in. I found out if I go play a little bit more golf and quit thinking about it, I’m better off.”
  • Chris Paul has no doubt that he and James Harden can be an effective backcourt combination for the Rockets, relays Michael Lee of The Vertical. Paul forced a trade from the Clippers over the summer, telling the team he planned to opt out and sign with Houston if it didn’t deal him. “It was definitely time for a change,” Paul said.

Brogdon, Saric Headline 2016/17 NBA All-Rookie Teams

The NBA has announced its All-Rookie teams for the 2016/17 season, with Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon and Sixers forward Dario Saric headlining the First Team. Brogdon and Saric were the only two players who were unanimously named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team.

Here’s the full breakdown of this year’s All-Rookie squads:

First Team:

Second Team:

Brogdon, Saric, and Embiid are the finalists for the 2016/17 NBA Rookie of the Year award, which will be announced later tonight during the league’s TV broadcast on TNT.

Mavericks Exercise Team Option On Yogi Ferrell

The Mavericks have officially exercised their 2017/18 team option on Yogi Ferrell‘s contract, according to RealGM’s transactions log. A Saturday report had indicated that the Mavs informed Ferrell his option would be picked up.

An undrafted free agent out of Indiana, Ferrell was a revelation on his first 10-day contract with the Mavericks last winter, stepping right into the starting lineup at the point and recording 32 points in his fourth game with the club. Ferrell’s impressive first week with the franchise earned him a rest-of-season deal with a second-year option.

For the season, Ferrell averaged 11.3 PPG, 4.3 APG, and a .412/.403/.877 shooting line in 36 games (29 starts) in Dallas. He also appeared in 10 games for the Nets earlier in the season, though his numbers in Brooklyn were more modest (5.4 PPG, 1.7 APG).

As our team option tracker for 2017/18 shows, the Mavs had to make decisions on three club options before the end of the month. The club has elected to turn down its options on Dirk Nowitzki and DeAndre Liggins, though Nowitzki figures to be back on a renegotiated contract.

Southwest Notes: Morey, Rockets, Noel, Ferrell

Rockets GM Daryl Morey, who recently signed a four-year extension, continues to work on large-scale moves after a quiet draft, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. On draft night, the Rockets had just one second-round pick and used it on Isaiah Hartenstein, who will remain overseas next season, Feigen tweets. The Rockets also traded their second-round pick, Dillon Brooks, to the Grizzlies for a second-round pick next season. Morey discussed his approach:

“We were very focused on two things, to get someone who can help us now and in the future. The second, we did a lot of potential discussions with teams that advanced a little bit today. Obviously, we’re focused on the team now, focused on chasing Golden State. Anything we can push in the future to help us upgrade the team, potentially through trade, we’re ready to do.”

The Rockets were discussing Paul George with the Pacers on Thursday and continue to do so, but nothing was considered close on draft day, per Feigen. The team was simultaneously having conversations directed at making cap room available if they needed it for an expensive free agent addition. Morey stated that the team was considering some deals to move into the first round of the draft, but the Rockets prioritized saving cap space to pursue big trades.

What else is going on in the Southwest division?:

Southwest Notes: Lowry, Ferrell, Rockets, Mills

Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry likely tops the Mavs’ list of point guards on the free agent market, according to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. Lowry confirmed after the Raptors were eliminated by the Cavaliers in the playoffs that he would opt of his contract. A solid, experienced point guard would be preferable to drafting one next month, Sefko continues, even though the team is undergoing a youth movement. Jeff Teague and Jrue Holiday are also potential targets during the offseason, Sefko adds.

In other news around the Southwest Division:

  • Yogi Ferrell will remain on the roster unless the Mavs get lucky in free agency and have a shot at either Stephen Curry or Chris Paul, Sefko writes in a separate mailbag. In that scenario, Dallas would have to clear as much cap space as possible. Otherwise, the coaching staff believes that Ferrell can turn into a sparkplug in the mold of J.J. Barea, Sefko continues. Veteran guard Devin Harris would be the first player let go if the Mavericks need to clear cap space, Sefko adds. Harris’ $4.4MM contract for next season is not guaranteed.
  • Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni will likely stick with smaller lineups and force the Spurs to adjust in the wake of Nene Hilario‘s season-ending injury, Sam Amick of USA Today reports. With Nene suffering a groin tear in Game 4, the Rockets downsized and buried the Spurs with a flurry of 3-pointers. It’s a good bet that forward Ryan Anderson will be replaced in the starting lineup by guard Eric Gordon, a strategy D’Antoni employed in the second half on Sunday.
  • Unrestricted free agent point guard Patty Mills could enjoy a big payday this summer, according to Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News. Tony Parker‘s serious quad injury could make Mills the Spurs’ top priority this offseason. They own his Bird rights and can thus offer Mills more than any other team, Finger points out. Mills provides scoring and energy off the bench, as Manu Ginobili has delivered for so many years, Finger adds.

Mavericks Notes: Ferrell, Carlisle, Lottery

Yogi Ferrell is confident that he can be the Mavericks‘ starting point guard, though he’s willing to play whatever role is best for the team, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes.

“I feel like, yeah, I am a starting point guard, and I’m going to play whatever role coach decides to put me in,” Ferrell said. “I’m definitely just blessed to be here and glad to be here. I definitely want to be here for a very long time.”

Here’s more from Dallas:

  • Coach Rick Carlisle believes Ferrell has earned a place in the league, but he added that it’s unfair to project what kind of role the Indiana product will play going forward, Sefko adds in the same piece. “I do like Yogi in our franchise, on our roster,” Carlisle said. “He certainly has proven that he can be a rotation player in this league. We didn’t have a good record. At this point in time, projecting exactly where he’s going to be is not really fair. I love him as a competitor. He’s grown each and every day, each and every game. I’m just really thrilled we have him here.”
  • Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News can envision the Mavericks contending for the eighth seed next season, but he’s bearish on the team’s chances of rising any higher in the standings. The scribe adds that if unless Dallas moves up in the lottery, the team is a season or two away from 50 wins. Mark Cuban’s franchise has a 1.7% at the No. 1 overall selection and a 6.1% chance at a top-3 pick, as Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors details.

Sefko’s Latest: Point Guard A “Priority” For Mavs In Offseason

Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News discussed the Mavs‘ offseason plans during a live chat Monday, labeling point guard the team’s “No. 1 priority” in the upcoming draft.

“Somebody who can snag rebounds will help,” Sefko explained. “But an athletic wing player is always in demand. Still, Point guard is the No. 1 priority in the offseason. We all think highly of Yogi Ferrell, but he needs help at the position. If Seth Curry‘s handles get a little better…”

Sefko acknowledged Dallas’ minimal playoff chances, citing the Mavs’ upcoming schedule as problematic. Rick Carlisle‘s squad dropped three of four in a recent stretch (including defeats to the Suns and 76ers), putting the Mavs in an unenviable position as the postseason nears. Still, Sefko writes, there’s reason for optimism in 2017/18:

“This franchise still is recovering from the DeAndre Jordan nightmare. But this summer, if they can connect on another solid double like Harrison Barnes or Curry or Wesley Matthews, then they are positioned to have enough young talent to get the attention of star free agents.”

Veteran point guard J.J. Barea was among Sefko’s talking points. While Barea has two guaranteed seasons left his contract, Sefko predicts J.J. will be coaching before too long. With that in mind, it would behoove Barea to act as a mentor to Ferrell and Curry.

When asked about potential draft picks for the Mavs, Sefko pointed out Donovan Mitchell of Louisville, as well as Jonathan Isaac of Florida State.

Mavericks Notes: Noel, Harris, Ferrell, Singh

Nerlens Noel, who will play his old team in Philadelphia for the first time tonight since being traded to the Mavericks last month, believes that the culture in Dallas is “only going to help” him as he looks to improve his game. As Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes, Noel’s brief time in Dallas so far has already given him a new perspective on the kind of influence that talented veteran players can have on him and his younger teammates.

“It’s a whole different type of culture, adjusting to the way things are done here,” Noel said. “The veteran leadership is something that’s big. The older guys are always holding the young guys accountable. … I’ve been in this league long enough now to know where I need to be at and especially not having any veterans early on. This team having mostly veterans is only going to help me.”

As Noel and the Mavs prepare to take on the Sixers, let’s round up a few more notes out of Dallas…

  • Veteran guard Devin Harris spoke to Raul Barrigon of HoopsHype about his new teammates in Dallas, the possibility of eventually playing for his hometown Bucks, and his desire to return to the Mavericks next season. Harris is under contract for about $4.4MM, but that 2017/18 salary is non-guaranteed.
  • Appearing on The Vertical’s Chris Mannix Show, Yogi Ferrell suggested that he can’t imagine being in a better situation than the one he has landed in with the Mavs. The Dallas Morning News passes along some other notable quotes from the interview with Ferrell.
  • The Mavericks have typically had plenty of roster turnover each offseason, but owner Mark Cuban would like to see a little more continuity this year with the current group, as Sefko writes for The Morning News.
  • Satnam Singh was the subject of international headlines when he became the first Indian-born player to be drafted back in 2015, but he has yet to make his NBA debut. Thomas Neumann of ESPN.com takes an interesting and in-depth look at Singh’s quest to make it to the NBA as he continues to spend time with the Mavs’ D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends.

Mark Cuban: “We’ve Gone Through A Rebuild In One Season”

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban discussed his team in a Q&A with Shaun Powell of NBA.com. The interview spanned a variety of subjects- even touching on politics toward the end- but Cuban was sure to praise the “reinvigorated” Dirk Nowitzki, as well as scrappy guards Yogi Ferrell and Seth Curry.

“This has reinvigorated Dirk. He sees the big picture,” Cuban said of Nowitzki’s choice to ‘ride it out’ in Dallas. “We’re in a win-win situation. We lose, we get a better draft pick, we win we get into the playoffs. It’s fun. It feels a lot more like 2000 when I first brought the team. All this young energy, exciting, fun to watch, we’re at a place where we’re not supposed to be.”

Cuban has reason to be pleased with Dallas’ season. Having gotten off to a 5-18 start in 2016/17, it looked as though the Mavs were in for a lost season. Several key contributors have helped right the ship, however. Ferrell and Curry have supplanted J.J. Barea and Devin Harris as Rick Carlisle‘s primary guards, Harrison Barnes has overcome a shaky start to the season, and Nerlens Noel looks like a stellar trade deadline pick-up.

“He has the most understated swag I’ve ever seen. His brother [Stephen] likes to dance. Seth will just kill you and then give you a little hand motion. He’s so non-demonstrative,” Cuban said. “To me, the more of a show you put on when you do something, the less swag you have. He doesn’t tell you, he scoreboards you, and to me, that’s the ultimate swag. We want him to be here forever. He’s our kind of guy.”

In Cuban’s mind, the team’s abbreviated rebuilding period has been a group effort.

“We’ve basically gone through a rebuild in one season. It’s a credit to Rick (Carlisle, the Mavericks coach) but also everyone on this team,” Cuban said. “There’s still a lot more to do. Nobody’s writing us in for The Finals this year. Our guys really worked hard, as hard or harder than any team in the league. Look at Miami. They’ve undergone a lot of changes too, much like we have, and they just play harder. I remember the Celtics after they traded off Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and they tried to find themselves and they did that by playing their asses off. That’s who we are now. Teams kind of look at our talent and don’t know what to expect but it’s hard to keep up with us when you go 15 deep with guys playing hard. It’s our calling card. I love it.”

And-Ones: Cook, Ferrell, Fines, Tanking

Quinn Cook has rejoined the D-League’s Canton Charge after his 10-day contract in Dallas expired, but it may just be a matter of time before he’s back with an NBA team, writes Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net. “He proved he can play in this league,” one source told Amico. “Now he just needs to find the right opportunity.”

Cook could find inspiration from Yogi Ferrell, who was briefly Cook’s teammate in Dallas. The undrafted point guard turned a 10-day contract into a multiyear contract with the Mavericks after being cut by the Nets. As Ferrell explains, via Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News, things didn’t work out for him in Brooklyn, but it only takes one team “to fall in love with you” (Twitter links). “Brooklyn didn’t like me, so they got rid of me,” Ferrell said. “I came to Dallas and they love me. So I’m glad it worked out here.”

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

  • The NBA announced on Thursday that Suns forward Jared Dudley and Wizards guard Brandon Jennings were fined $35K apiece for their actions during an altercation that took place in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s game between the two teams.
  • ESPN’s Chad Ford (Insider link) provides a top-10 list of sorts, assigning teams a “Tank Rank” that looks a little different in some cases than their current spots in the 2016/17 Reverse Standings. For instance, even though the Suns currently have the league’s third-worst record, it’s the Sixers that Ford places third in the tanking rankings, suggesting that Phoenix is playing well and could pass Philadelphia in the standings in the coming weeks.
  • Deron Williams (Cavaliers), Matt Barnes (Warriors), Brandon Jennings (Wizards) are among the recently-signed veteran free agents who could end up making an impact in the postseason, writes James Blancarte of Basketball Insiders.
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