Yogi Ferrell

Potential 2018 RFAs Whose Qualifying Offers Will Be Impacted By Starter Criteria

The NBA’s rookie scale, which dictates how much first-round picks earn during their first four NBA seasons, also dictates how much the qualifying offers will be worth for those players when they reach restricted free agency after year four. However, the value of those qualifying offers can fluctuate depending on whether or not a player has met the “starter criteria.”

Here’s how the starter criteria works: A player who is eligible for restricted free agency is considered to have met the starter criteria if he plays at least 2,000 minutes or starts 41 games in the season before he reaches free agency. A player can also meet the criteria if he averages either of those marks in the two seasons prior to his restricted free agency. For instance, if a player started 50 games in 2016/17 and 32 in 2017/18, he’d meet the starter criteria, since his average number of starts over the last two seasons is 41.

A player’s ability or inability to meet the starter criteria can affect the value of the qualifying offer he receives as a restricted free agent, as follows:

  • A top-14 pick who does not meet the starter criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to the amount the 15th overall pick would receive if he signed for 120% of the rookie scale.
  • A player picked between 10th and 30th who meets the criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to the amount the ninth overall pick would receive if he signed for 120% of the rookie scale.
  • A second-round pick or undrafted player who meets the criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to the amount the 21st overall pick would receive if he signed for 100% of the rookie scale.
  • For all other RFAs, the standard criteria determine the amounts of their qualifying offers.

Extending a qualifying offer to a player eligible for restricted free agency officially makes that player an RFA, ensuring that his team has the right of first refusal if he signs an offer sheet with another club. It also gives the player the option of signing that one-year QO.

Generally, the value of a restricted free agent’s qualifying offer isn’t hugely important, since very few RFAs accept those offers outright. There are exceptions though. Last offseason, for instance, both players who signed their one-year QOs – Suns center Alex Len and Mavericks center Nerlens Noel – failed to meet the starter criteria heading into restricted free agency, reducing the value of their QOs to approximately $4.2MM (from $6.4MM and $5.85MM, respectively). Had Len and Noel met the starter criteria and been eligible for those larger QOs, their free agencies could have played out differently.

Top-14 picks who failed to meet starter criteria:

With that in mind, let’s check in on how this year’s RFAs-to-be will be impacted by the starter criteria. Listed below are the former top-14 picks on track for restricted free agency who have not met the starter criteria. These players will be eligible for qualifying offers worth $4,333,931.

No player was hit harder by missing out on the starter criteria than Parker, whose torn ACL made him fall short. If he’d stayed healthy, the former No. 2 overall pick likely would’ve been in line for a qualifying offer worth about $8.851MM. Instead, his QO will be worth less than half of that.

Major injuries also prevented Exum and LaVine from meeting the starter criteria, while Celtics guard Marcus Smart stayed just healthy enough to meet the necessary benchmarks — he totaled 4,013 minutes played over the last two seasons, barely averaging more than 2,000 per year.

First-round picks between 10-30 who met starter criteria:

The players listed below were picked between No. 10 and No. 30 in the 2014 draft and will meet the starter criteria. That will make each of them eligible for a qualifying offer worth $4,749,591.

Anderson is the biggest winner here, with his projected qualifying offer of $3.23MM set to increase by more than $1.5MM. However, Anderson, Capela, and Nurkic shouldn’t have any issue landing long-term deals, making the value of their QOs somewhat irrelevant. I wonder about Payton though — he didn’t exactly finish this season strong in Phoenix and could be a candidate to accept his increased QO.

Rodney Hood, the 23rd overall pick in 2014, can blame injury luck and lineup decisions for missing out on the starter criteria. He started 78 of 119 total games for Utah and Cleveland over the last two seasons, averaging 27.0 minutes per contest during that span. Without health issues, he almost certainly would’ve logged 82+ starts or 4,000+ minutes during those two years.

Second-round picks and UDFAs who met starter criteria:

Only one player falls into this group this year.

Initially signed to a 10-day contract in 2017, Ferrell parlayed that audition into a multiyear deal and has become an integral part of the Mavericks‘ rotation this season. He has appeared in all 81 games for Dallas, averaging 28.1 minutes per contest — that’s good for 2,274 total minutes, boosting his qualifying offer from $1,699,698 to $2,919,204.

The rest of this year’s restricted free agents won’t have their projected qualifying offers impacted by the starter criteria.

Southwest Notes: Hill, Ferrell, Murray, Hammon

Pelicans forward Solomon Hill may make his first appearance of the season Sunday, according to Christian Boutwell of The Journal Times. Hill has been sidelined for the past 68 games by a torn hamstring that required surgery in late August. Coach Alvin Gentry told reporters tonight that Hill will undergo preliminary tests before the game to see if he’s able to play.

“Whenever I can get out there, it’s not just about playing, but it’s about contributing,” Hill said. “I’m not trying to take from the team. I don’t care where I am in my situation in recovery … Whatever minutes I play, if they don’t help the team, they hurt the team. That’s my goal, to help the team. If I can’t help the team and I hurt them more than I [help], then I’m going to have a talk with somebody and just be like the group is playing well and I don’t want to take from anybody — especially if I’m not in a situation to be 100 percent or close to it.”

Hill has been participating in practice on a limited basis and has seen most of his action in two-on-two games. He appeared in 80 games last season, starting 71, after signing a four-year, $48MM contract in the summer of 2016.

There’s more news from the Southwest Division:

  • Mavericks guard Yogi Ferrell passed the 2,000-minute threshold this week, pushing him into the starter criteria for free agency, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Ferrell, who will be a restricted free agent, will have his qualifying offer and cap hold rise from $1.7MM to $2.9MM. He is averaging 10.1 points per game in his first full season in Dallas.
  • Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray hasn’t been the difference maker that coach Gregg Popovich had hoped when he inserted him into the starting lineup in January, writes Frank Urbina of Hoops Hype. San Antonio is 9-12 since the move and is barely clinging to a playoff spot.
  • Spurs assistant Becky Hammon has decided to remain with the team after having conversations with Colorado State about becoming the men’s head basketball coach, according to Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Hammon is in her fourth season with the Spurs and is considered a candidate to someday become the NBA’s first female head coach.

Southwest Notes: Mavericks, Leonard, Green, Grizzlies

The Mavericks remain willing to take on salary in any deal as long as they get draft picks for their troubles, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Dallas has about $13MM in available cap room, and the quality of the picks they ask for will rise according to how much salary they absorb. The Mavs were rumored to be a potential third team to help complete a George Hill trade to Cleveland, with a Sacramento second-rounder coming to Dallas, but Sefko dismisses that as unlikely.

He identifies Harrison Barnes, Dennis Smith Jr. and Dirk Nowitzki as the only untouchables on the Mavericks’ roster, but adds that it would take an extraordinary offer to get J.J. Barea, Devin Harris or Wesley Matthews. Sefko notes that Dallas feels a sense of loyalty to its veteran players and speculates that another organization might have waived Harris before his contract became fully guaranteed earlier this month.

The Mavs, who rank fourth in our Reverse Standings, are counting on a high lottery pick to add another building block for the future. They would like to acquire a second pick and are hoping to find a center in the draft.

Sefko adds that Josh McRoberts, who has a $6MM expiring contract, is being made available in trades, but Dallas plans to let him play out the season if no deal is reached. The team is hoping to re-sign Seth Curry, Salah Mejri and Yogi Ferrell when they all hit free agency this summer.

There’s more tonight from the Southwest Division:

  • The tension between Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs over his injury is “legit,” a source tells Ken Berger of Bleacher Report. GM R.C. Buford has denied any rift with Leonard, but both sides are frustrated over his long recovery time from right quadriceps tendinopathy. The same source says the Spurs have a history of being reluctant to get second opinions from doctors outside the organization. Despite the hard feelings, a rival GM says San Antonio hasn’t given any consideration to trading Leonard.
  • The Rockets‘ return to full health has cost Gerald Green his spot in the rotation, notes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Green, who signed with the team in late December, averaged 15.6 points in 10 games while some key players were sidelined with injuries. “I can’t upset five guys to appease one,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I’d rather have one guy kind of out of it and four happy. I’ve got to keep a core that knows about their minutes. Now, whenever I can, I’ll play him. I won’t hesitate to play him. If somebody’s hurt or sick, he’ll play. Or if I can find time, I will.”
  • The Grizzlies are already making moves with next season in mind, writes Chris Herrington of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Memphis is giving more minutes to younger players and letting veterans rest longer after injuries. The team plans to explore the trade market for Tyreke Evans and other players on expiring contracts before the February 8 deadline.

Southwest Rumors: Tanking, Pelicans, Ferrell, Rockets

The Grizzlies dismiss the notion of tanking to improve their chances of moving up the lottery, Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff told Tillery the team still believes it can make the playoffs, despite its 10-23 record. “In our mind, there is no tanking,” he said. “We’re competitive. We just need to find a way to get over that hump. We’ve continued to take steps.” Center Marc Gasol has no interest in playing for a team that intentionally waves the white flag, Tillery adds. “My job is not allowing that to happen,” Gasol said. “My job is not allowing anyone to throw away the season. Because at 32, 33 next month, I don’t have a season to throw away.”

In other news around the Southwest Division:

  • The Pelicans are hovering around the .500 mark and need to take advantage of a soft spot in their upcoming schedule, as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders examines. They face the Nets, Mavericks and Knicks before the New Year, which could help them make a move in the standings. If New Orleans continues to wallow in mediocrity, trade chatter will increase with DeMarcus Cousins heading to free agency this summer, Kyler notes. The lack of a bona fide leader, plus a penchant for turnovers, are two of the major issues confronting a team that should be better than its current record, Kyler adds.
  • Mavericks combo guard Yogi Ferrell has boosted his 3-point shooting average to 40.2% during a recent seven-game hot streak, which doesn’t come as a surprise to head coach Rick Carlisle. One of the reasons Dallas signed Ferrell last season was his superior shooting mechanics, as Carlisle told Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. “I feel good anytime any of our shooters have a good look at a three,” he said. “But when Yogi has the space and the pass is on time and on target, he does a great job of stepping into it.”
  • Rockets GM Daryl Morey recently said in a radio interview that the club is obsessed with beating the Warriors and Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders opines that it’s not wise to take that approach. Hamilton explains that the Rockets can’t afford to look past or show a lack of respect to the Spurs, who are always dangerous during the postseason.

Southwest Notes: Mavs, Gasol, Paul

The Mavs have benefited from the across the board contributions of role players Dwight Powell and Yogi Ferrell this season, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes. The pair have thrived as much-needed team worker bees.

[Powell] always gives us amazing energy,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said of his 26-year-old backup center. “He is just so into the team and winning. Guys like him, you just can’t get enough of.”

In 17.9 minutes per game, Powell has posted 6.2 points and 5.3 rebounds, a stat line that works out to be 12.5 and 10.5 per-36. Ferrell, in contrast, has served the Mavs out of the backcourt, stepping up noticeably well as a spot starter for Dennis Smith Jr.

In five starts with the lottery pick sidelined, Ferrell has averaged 12.5 points and 4.8 assists per game for the Mavs.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • The Rockets have thrived under head coach Mike D’Antoni but for a while there, Hornets assistant Stephen Silas was in the running for the position. As Hunter Atkins of the Houston Chronicle writes, the Charlotte coach still gets ribbed by friends and family when Houston, the best team in the NBA two months into the season, does something particularly impressive.
  • The Grizzlies haven’t officially declared that they’re looking to trade Marc Gasol but the big man’s name has been a topic of speculation anyway considering Memphis’ poor 2017/18 start. Chris Herrington of the Commercial Appeal has come up with six hypothetical trade scenarios that he thinks are reasonable, including one that would send the Spaniard to the Raptors in exchange for a Jonas Valanciunas package.
  • Offseason acquisition Chris Paul seems to be enjoying his new role with the Rockets, as Tim MacMahon of ESPN breaks down in a recent feature. That, coupled with the fact that Houston is 12-0 with Paul on the floor this season, bodes well for the franchise ahead of the veteran’s free agency this summer.

2018 Free Agent Stock Watch: Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks are in a curious position as an NBA franchise, suspended in a unique limbo between rebuilding and (sorta) contending. Thank Dirk Nowitzki for most of it, as team owner Mark Cuban seems to have insisted that the Mavs field a semi-competent roster in the future Hall of Famer’s final years.

While the club has seemingly acknowledged the writing on the wall and started to amass long-term building blocks – most recently, ninth overall pick Dennis Smith Jr. – it’s unlikely that the Mavs will fully give into an outright rebuild so long as Nowitzki is on board for 2018/19 (which, for reasons discussed below, we’re going to assume to be the case).

Seth Curry verticalSeth Curry, PG, 27 (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $6MM deal in 2016
Curry has yet to see the court this season on account of a leg injury that may now require surgery. Even at full health, however, it’s not likely that Curry would have siphoned minutes away from either lottery pick Dennis Smith Jr. or several other niche players in Dallas’ backcourt rotation, a reality that casts doubt on his future with the franchise.

Devin Harris, SG, 35 (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $17MM deal in 2014
While Harris has produced admirably off the bench for the Mavs, it doesn’t make sense for a team attempting to usher in a new era to retain a 35-year-old reserve in an already crowded backcourt. Harris could be a sneaky value add for a contender late in the free agency process next summer.

Yogi Ferrell, PG, 25 (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $2MM deal in 2017
Ferrell carved out a role for himself as a rotation piece on the Mavs last season but he probably won’t garner much interest as a restricted free agent next summer given that his ceiling seems somewhat capped. Still, he could provide solid long-term value in Dallas if the team does decide to part ways with Curry and/or Harris.

Wesley Matthews, SF, 31 (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $70MM deal in 2015
The Mavs poached Matthews from an elite Trail Blazers squad hopeful that the swingman’s two-way game would help keep their aging core relevant in the West. Through three seasons, Matthews has posted a relatively uninspiring 12.9 points per game but will almost certainly return to Dallas considering how unlikely it would be for him to exceed his $19MM 2018/19 player option on the open market.

Josh McRoberts, PF, 31 (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $23MM deal in 2014
The Mavs absorbed the final year of McRoberts’ contract over the summer, yielding a future second-round pick from the Heat in the process. Considering that the 30-year-old has been sidelined with a knee injury since joining the organization, he’ll be hard-pressed to earn a significant contract after this season. McRoberts may be able to fill a rotation spot somewhere – maybe even in Dallas – but he’ll presumably have to do so on a minimum salary.

Salah Mejri, C, 32 (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $3MM deal in 2015
While Mejri has played a modest role for the Mavs in each of the past three seasons, he won’t command much on the open market as a 32-year-old free agent with career averages south of five points per game.

Nerlens Noel, C, 24 (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $4MM deal in 2017
It’s been less than a year since the Mavs plucked a disgruntled Noel away from the Sixers, but any notion that the team was eager to include the 23-year-old in their long-term plans has quickly faded. It’s hard to picture Noel commanding the big money he supposedly aspired to land last summer but even harder to picture him back in Dallas next season after how head coach Rick Carlisle has handled his minutes so far this season. Realistically the 2016 lottery pick’s value falls much higher than his $4MM qualifying offer and, once the free agency dominoes start falling next summer, he should find a team happy to throw him a more significant long-term offer.

Dirk Nowitzki, PF, 40 (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $10MM deal in 2017.
Nowitzki has said that his decision (yes, his decision, even though it’s formally and contractually the team’s) will be based on how he feels over the course of this season. For what it’s worth, Cuban hopes to see him return and thinks there’s good chance that he does so in order to break the record for most seasons with one franchise.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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?: