Yogi Ferrell

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).

Clippers Waive Yogi Ferrell

The Clippers have waived guard Yogi Ferrell, the team announced on Sunday night in a press release. The move reduces L.A.’s total roster count to 15 players.

Ferrell, 28, signed a 10-day contract with the Clippers in April, then inked a multiyear deal with the team when his initial agreement expired. He appeared in eight total regular season games for L.A., averaging 4.6 PPG and 2.1 APG in 12.0 MPG, then logged garbage-time minutes in nine postseason contests.

Because Ferrell’s 2021/22 salary was non-guaranteed, the Clippers won’t be on the hook for any of his $1.98MM minimum salary. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent if and when he clears waivers later this week.

The Clippers now have 14 players on guaranteed contracts, plus Jay Scrubb on a two-way deal. The team has also reportedly agreed to an Exhibit 10 pact with George King and has a two-way qualifying offer out to Amir Coffey.

Clippers Sign Yogi Ferrell To Multiyear Deal

1:58pm: The Clippers have officially announced their new multiyear deal with Ferrell.

1:20pm: The Clippers will bring back Yogi Ferrell after his 10-day contract with the club expired on Wednesday night, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). According to Wojnarowski, Ferrell will sign a rest-of-season deal that includes a non-guaranteed salary for 2021/22.

Ferrell, who will turn 28 in May, signed a 10-day contract with the Clippers on April 29 and appeared in three games with the team over the course of those 10 days. The veteran point guard played well in a limited role, averaging 4.7 points and 3.3 assists with a .400/.500/1.000 shooting line in 9.7 minutes per contest. He didn’t commit a single turnover in those three games.

While Ferrell likely won’t have a role in the postseason, he’ll be an important depth piece down the stretch for the Clippers as long as Patrick Beverley (hand) remains sidelined.

The former Indiana Hoosier, who made his NBA debut in 2016, spent time with the Nets, Mavericks, Kings, and Cavaliers before arriving in Los Angeles. He also played in this year’s G League bubble at Walt Disney World, averaging 15.4 PPG and 4.0 APG in 14 games (28.3 MPG) for the Salt Lake City Stars, Utah’s NBAGL affiliate.

Once Ferrell’s new deal has been officially completed, the Clippers will have a full 15-man roster, with both two-way slots occupied as well. Unless a player with a guaranteed salary is released between now and the end of the regular season, the current group figures to be the one the team carries into the playoffs.

California Notes: Davis, Holmes, Bagley, Ferrell

Before Lakers All-Star big man Anthony Davis returned to the court tonight for the first time in two months, Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group noted that the team would have to make significant rotational adjustments to its closing lineup.

“It’s gonna be some people who [are] playing well right now, playing a lot of minutes, those minutes get shifted just from the dynamic of having [Davis and eventually LeBron James] out there,” said L.A. forward Kyle Kuzma.

The closing lineup will not be affected just yet, however. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has indicated that Davis, on a strict 15-minute limit at present, will play all of his minutes in the first half of tonight’s game against the Mavericks, Mark Medina of USA Today tweets.

There’s more out of California:

  • Kings center Richaun Holmes has returned to basketball activities as he continues to recover from a strained right hamstring, per Sean Cunningham of ABC10 (KXTV) Sacramento (via Twitter).
  • The fractured fourth metacarpal left hand injury that has kept Kings big man Marvin Bagley III out for a month has healed, according to a team press release. Bagley is hoping to return to the court for Sacramento next week as the team continues to make a play-in push, tweets Sam Amick of The Athletic.
  • New Clippers point guard Yogi Ferrell has been making the most of his 10-day contract, showcasing his instinctive passing and speed in his first game with L.A., writes Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register. The six-footer hopes to remain on the playoff-bound squad beyond his initial deal.

Clippers Sign Yogi Ferrell To 10-Day Deal

APRIL 19: The Clippers have officially signed Ferrell to a 10-day contract, the team announced today. The club opened up a spot on its roster when Malik Fitts‘ 10-day deal expired overnight.

APRIL 11: The Clippers intend to ink free agent combo guard Yogi Ferrell to a 10-day deal next week, provided he clears the league’s COVID-19 health and protocols, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times cautions (Twitter link) that Ferrell is one of a few options the Clippers are eyeing to shore up their guard depth, and a signing of Ferrell is not a lock due to the NBA’s coronavirus protocols.

If he does sign, Ferrell may be able to help spell veteran point guards Reggie Jackson and Rajon Rondo, both of whom have seen a minutes increase (with Jackson starting) necessitated by another long-term injury absence for starting guard Patrick Beverley, out indefinitely with a fractured bone in his left hand. Beverley will be reassessed by the club in three-to-four weeks.

This marks Ferrell’s second 10-day deal of the season, as he previously signed such a contract with the Cavaliers in January. The 27-year-old appeared in two games with Cleveland this season. He averaged 9.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 2.5 APG across 20.0 MPG.

After his stint with the Cavaliers, Ferrell joined the Jazz’s NBAGL affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, for the G League’s truncated Orlando “bubble” campus season. He started in all 14 of his games with Salt Lake City, averaging 15.4 PPG, 4.0 APG, 2.7 RPG, and 1.3 SPG, and boasted stellar shooting splits of .451/.388/1.000.

Ferrell went undrafted in 2016 out of Indiana. Prior to this season, he logged stints with the Nets, Mavericks, and Kings. A career 36.7% three-point shooter, Ferrell could potentially see time off the ball in limited minutes for L.A. At 36-18, the Clippers are currently the No. 3 seed in the West. The Nuggets, riding high on an eight-game win streak, are within a single game of tying LA.

Northwest Notes: SGA, Murray, Beasley, Jazz

Thunder point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is looking forward to getting the chance to play Chris Paul and the Suns for the first time this season on Wednesday, as Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman writes. Paul served as a mentor for Gilgeous-Alexander in Oklahoma City last season, and the two guards have remained close even after CP3 was dealt to Phoenix.

“Obviously me and him built a bond over the past year, to where he’s almost like a brother to me,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “We talk about everything. How life’s going, how the teams are doing, how we’re doing.”

Gilgeous-Alexander added that it was a “blessing” to play with a veteran star like Paul last season, and that the bond the two former teammates built has had “even more of an impact than the on-the-court stuff,” per Mussatto.

Here’s more from around the Thunder:

  • Nuggets guard Jamal Murray was fined $25K on Wednesday for an incident that occurred during Monday’s win over Dallas, according to an NBA press release. During the third quarter of that game, Murray struck Mavericks wing Tim Hardaway Jr. in the groin area. Murray was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and was ejected.
  • After signing a lucrative new long-term deal with the Timberwolves in the offseason, Malik Beasley wants to win the Most Improved Player award and help lead the team to the playoffs this season, as he tells Ben Stinar of Forbes.
  • The Jazz‘s G League affiliate (the Salt Lake City Stars) officially announced its roster for the upcoming season, while the Thunder‘s affiliate (the Oklahoma City Blue) named Bradford Burgess an assistant coach. The Stars’ roster includes Yogi Ferrell, who will be an affiliate player for the Jazz after a brief stint with the Cavaliers earlier this month.

Rockets Trade James Harden To Nets

JANUARY 16: The Pacers/Rockets part of the trade is now official and has been folded back into the initial deal, formally making it a four-team trade once again. Details can be found right here.

JANUARY 14: The trade is now official, the Nets announced in a press release.

“Adding an All-NBA player such as James to our roster better positions our team to compete against the league’s best,” Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks said. “James is one of the most prolific scorers and playmakers in our game, and we are thrilled to bring his special talents to Brooklyn.

“While we are excited to welcome James and his family to the Nets, we also want to thank the players who are departing. Caris, Jarrett, Rodions and Taurean were instrumental to the team’s success and have made an enormous impact on our organization. It has been a pleasure watching them grow both as players and as people and they will always be part of our Nets family. We wish each of them and their families all the best in the future.”

In their press release announcing the deal, the Cavs noted that they also acquired the draft rights to 2017 second-round pick Aleksandar Vezenkov from the Nets. Vezenkov has remained overseas since being drafted.

Interestingly, the Nets, Cavs, and Rockets opted to complete this trade as a three-team deal, meaning the trade sending LeVert and a second-round pick to Indiana for Oladipo will be a separate move.

Separating the two trades will allow the Rockets to generate a larger trade exception in this initial deal — that exception will be worth $15,451,216.

JANUARY 13: The Nets will acquire star guard James Harden in a trade with the Rockets, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne (Twitter link). Shams Charania of The Athletic confirms (via Twitter) that Harden will head to Brooklyn.

According to Wojnarowski and Shelburne (via Twitter) and Charania (Twitter link), it will be a multi-team trade that also involves the Cavaliers and Pacers, with the Rockets receiving Indiana guard Victor Oladipo in the deal.

The Rockets will acquire Oladipo from the Pacers; Rodions Kurucs, three first-round picks, and four pick swaps from the Nets; and Dante Exum and the Bucks’ unprotected 2022 first-round selection from the Cavs, per ESPN and The Athletic.

Cleveland will receive Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince from Brooklyn, while the Pacers acquire Caris LeVert.

Charania reports (via Twitter) that the Pacers will also receive a second-round pick in the trade. That second-rounder is a 2023 selection from the Rockets, tweets Wojnarowski.

In addition to Harden, the Nets will receive a 2024 second-round pick from Cleveland, says Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The Cavaliers have traded away the more favorable of their own second-rounder and the Jazz’s second-rounder, so Brooklyn will presumably get the less favorable of those two picks.

This is a massive trade with a ton of moving parts to break down. Let’s start with the Nets’ side of the deal.

Nets’ perspective:

The draft picks the Nets are sending to Houston are their unprotected first-rounders in 2022, 2024, and 2026, according to Wojnarowski, who tweets that the Rockets will have the ability to swap first-round picks with the Nets in 2021, 2023, 2025, and 2027 (without protections, tweets Zach Lowe of ESPN).

That means the Nets won’t control any of their own first-round picks through 2027, making this a massive bet on the star trio of Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving. Irving is currently away from the team on personal leave and is something of a question mark for the time being, but with Durant and Harden leading the offense, the Nets should have more than enough offensive firepower to get by until he returns.

The move, which makes Brooklyn an immediate championship contender, reunites Harden with his former Thunder teammate and fellow former MVP Durant. Harden will also team up once again with ex-Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, who is now a Nets assistant.

As a result of trading four players for one, the Nets will have three open roster spots to fill, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). Minimum-salary signings seem likely, since Brooklyn’s projected luxury tax bill will further increase as a result of taking on Harden’s $41MM+ salary.

However, the team also still has its $5.72MM taxpayer mid-level exception available and will likely be granted a disabled player exception worth about the same amount following Spencer Dinwiddie‘s ACL tear. As such, Brooklyn has the flexibility to sign players to deals worth more than the minimum.

Harden had a 15% trade kicker in his contract, but it will be voided since he’s already making the maximum salary.

While this blockbuster trade is probably a safe bet to work out better than the last time the Nets mortgaged their future by surrendering a series of first-round selections and pick swaps (for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce), it’s worth noting that Harden is 31 years old and Durant is 32 — the Nets’ picks for the next couple years figure to fall near the end of the first round, but there’s no guarantee that will still be the case by 2025, 2026, or 2027.

Rockets’ perspective:

The Rockets are clearly betting that some of those draft assets will become valuable, opting for a package heavy on picks rather than pushing to complete a trade with the Sixers for Ben Simmons, as was rumored earlier today. Although Simmons was said to be on the table in talks with Philadelphia, it’s not clear what the rest of that deal might have looked like.

By choosing to trade with the Nets and Pacers, the Rockets landed a two-time All-Star (Oladipo) in addition to four draft picks and four draft swaps. Oladipo will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, so there’s no guarantee he’ll be a long-term Rocket. Houston will hold his Bird rights and could re-sign him in the offseason, but acquiring him this early in the season also gives the club the option of extracting further value by flipping him at the March 25 trade deadline.

Today’s trade agreement marks the end of a saga that began in November, when word first broke that Harden had turned down a two-year, $103MM extension offer and had requested a trade out of Houston. The Rockets didn’t move him in the offseason, prompting the superstar guard to express his displeasure by reporting late to training camp.

On Tuesday night, he accelerated his departure by telling reporters after a blowout loss that the Rockets were “just not good enough” and that he didn’t believe the situation could be fixed. Houston decided to keep Harden away from the team until a trade agreement could be reached, and ultimately took less than 24 hours to finalize a deal.

[RELATED: Rockets’ Players, Silas Discuss Harden Situation]

Barring any additional imminent changes, the Rockets will have a fascinating roster in the short term, headlined by a trio of former stars who are coming back from major injuries. Oladipo, who missed a year from 2019-20 with a quad issue, joins John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, who have looked good this season after long-term injury absences of their own.

With Christian Wood and P.J. Tucker in the frontcourt, Houston should be a competitive team this season, albeit probably not a legit contender. Today’s trade is more about the future. Having previously traded away a handful of their own future first-round picks and given up a pair of pick swaps in 2021 and 2025, the Rockets have replenished their stash of draft picks in recent months, first by trading Robert Covington and Russell Westbrook and now by moving Harden.

Houston, which had one open roster spot entering the day, will have to waive a player to complete the trade. The club will also generate an eight-figure trade exception in the deal.

All three of the players acquired in today’s trade by the Rockets – Oladipo, Kurucs, and Exum – can become free agents at season’s end (Kurucs has a team option for 2021/22).

It also shouldn’t be overlooked that moving Harden for three less expensive players will take the Rockets $3.65MM below the luxury tax line and $9.95MM below their hard cap, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). Entering the day, Houston was over the tax and only about $1MM from the hard cap — the club should now have added financial and cap flexibility for the rest of the season.

Pacers’ perspective:

Oladipo has been the subject of trade rumors for the last year, since he has at times seemed lukewarm about the idea of remaining in Indiana after his current contract expires in 2021. While the Pacers had insisted they were comfortable hanging onto him and addressing his contract situation when free agency arrived, moving him for LeVert makes sense for the franchise.

While Oladipo is a stronger defender, LeVert is a talented scorer who is two years younger than Oladipo and is on a more favorable contract. LeVert is earning $16.2MM this season and is under contract for two additional years beyond 2020/21, at an affordable rate of $18.1MM per year.

As Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report observes (via Twitter), re-signing Oladipo at the price he was seeking would’ve been a challenge for the Pacers, who are already on the hook for lucrative multiyear contracts for Malcolm Brogdon, Domantas Sabonis, and Myles Turner. Locking in LeVert through 2022/23 should be much more financially manageable for Indiana.

In the short term, the Pacers will also slip under the luxury tax line as a result of swapping Oladipo ($21MM) for LeVert, tweets Marks.

Cavaliers’ perspective:

The Cavs are acquiring Prince and will send out Exum and a future second-round pick, but this trade is mostly about sending out the Bucks’ 2022 first-rounder in exchange for Allen, a promising young center who will be a restricted free agent during the coming offseason.

Cleveland already has a number of veteran options at the four and five, including Andre Drummond, Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr., and JaVale McGee, so acquiring Allen will create more of a logjam in the short term.

In the long term though, you could make the case that none of the Cavs’ incumbent big men have more upside than Allen, who is averaging a double-double (11.2 PPG, 10.4 RPG) in a part-time role (26.7 MPG) so far this season.

If Allen starts at least five games for the Cavs during the rest of the 2020/21 season, he’ll meet the starter criteria and his qualifying offer in restricted free agency will be worth $7.7MM. He’d have the option of accepting that one-year offer, negotiating a longer-term deal with Cleveland, or signing an offer sheet with another team, which the Cavs could match.

In a pair of corresponding roster moves, the Cavs will waive Thon Maker and will end Yogi Ferrell‘s 10-day contract early, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cavaliers Sign Yogi Ferrell To 10-Day Contract

9:54am: The Cavaliers have officially signed Ferrell to his 10-day deal, the team announced in a press release. The contract will run through next Wednesday, January 20.

8:27am: The Cavaliers are signing veteran point guard Yogi Ferrell to a 10-day contract, reports Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Ferrell is expected to be available to play on Monday night vs. Memphis after finalizing his deal and conducting the necessary COVID-19 testing, Fedor adds.

Typically, teams can’t sign players to 10-day contracts this early in the season — the 10-day signing window for 2021 doesn’t open until February 23. However, the NBA tweaked its rules a little for this season, allowing teams to complete 10-day deals early if they’re adding a player via the hardship provision.

A hardship exception allows a team to add an extra player to its 15-man roster on a short-term basis. It can be granted by the league if the club has at least four players who have missed three or more games due to injury or illness and are expected to be out for at least two more weeks.

We heard last week that the Cavaliers, who are currently without Kevin Love (calf), Dylan Windler (wrist), Dante Exum (calf), and Matthew Dellavedova (concussion), among others, planned to apply for an extra roster spot via the hardship provision as soon as they became eligible. It appears that request was approved, so Cleveland won’t have to waive anyone to sign Ferrell.

Ferrell, 27, was a member of the Kings for the last two years, averaging 5.3 PPG and 1.7 APG on .430/.342/.881 shooting in 121 total games (13.2 MPG) across those two seasons. He didn’t find a new NBA home in free agency in November after his contract with Sacramento expired, but will – at least for the time being – provide some point guard depth for the Cavs.

In addition to missing Exum and Dellavedova, Cleveland will also be without Darius Garland (shoulder) on Monday, while Collin Sexton (ankle) is listed as questionable. In other words, Ferrell could be immediately thrust into a prominent role, given the lack of options available at the point for the Cavs.

Jazz Waive Yogi Ferrell, Malcolm Miller

The Jazz have waived guard Yogi Ferrell and forward Malcolm Miller, tweets Eric Woodyard of ESPN.

Ferrell, 27, just signed with the team on Friday. He spent the past two seasons with the Kings, but averaged a career-low 10.4 minutes per game last year. Miller, also 27, has been with the Raptors the past three years and got into 28 games last season.

Along with waiving four players Friday night, Utah’s roster is now down to 14, including just 11 guaranteed contracts, as well as a pair of two-way players. The Jazz are slightly over the luxury tax line and may not carry 15 players this season.

Jazz Sign Yogi Ferrell

6:00pm: The signing is official, according to a team press release.

8:08 am: The Jazz have agreed to a deal with free agent guard Yogi Ferrell, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Charania didn’t provide any additional details on the terms, so it’s not clear whether or not Ferrell will receive any guaranteed money, but it figures to be a minimum-salary contract.

Ferrell, 27, spent the last two seasons in Sacramento and saw his role reduced during his tenure with the Kings. Last season, he averaged just 4.4 PPG and 1.4 APG in 50 games (10.6 MPG). He played a more prominent role earlier in his career in Dallas, averaging a career-best 10.2 PPG and 2.5 APG in 2017/18.

The Jazz currently have a full 20-man training camp roster, so they’ll need to make a cut before officially finalizing their deal with Ferrell.

Utah is only carrying 11 players on fully guaranteed contracts, but Shaquille Harrison, Juwan Morgan, and Miye Oni look like good bets to make the team on non-guaranteed deals. For Ferrell to make the regular season roster, he’d either have to beat out one of those three players or count on the Jazz – who are slightly over the tax line – to retain a 15th man to start the year.