Yogi Ferrell

Kings Notes: Joseph, Ferrell, Barnes, Bagley

Cory Joseph‘s uncertain relationship with Team Canada has drawn most of the headlines this summer, but the eight-year veteran will have a new role once the World Cup is over, writes James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. Joseph joined the Kings on a three-year, $37MM contract last month, and he’ll be counted on to back up burgeoning star De’Aaron Fox.

Joseph is among several experienced players that GM Vlade Divac added in an effort to fix a defense that ranked 26th last season in points allowed and 20th in defensive rating. Joseph, among the league’s best perimeter defenders at point guard, posted a 6.5/3.4/3.9 line last season, but Ham expects those numbers to increase as he leaves the methodical Pacers for the faster-paced Kings.

There’s more from Sacramento:

  • Yogi Ferrell will also be competing for minutes in a now-crowded Kings backcourt, Ham adds in a separate story. Ferrell won the back-up point guard spot after signing with Sacramento last summer, but the addition of Joseph seems to leave him without a clear role. He can play either backcourt position, but the team is also deep at shooting guard with Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Even though the Kings picked up his $3.2MM option for this season, Ferrell’s playing time may be reduced.
  • It didn’t take long for Harrison Barnes to win the confidence of his World Cup coaches, relays Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Barnes is the only player on Team USA with a championship ring, which he collected with the Warriors in 2015, and the only one with a gold medal, which came in the 2016 Olympics. “Pop (head coach Gregg Popovich) trusts him,” said USA assistant Steve Kerr, who coached Barnes for two seasons with Golden State. “Pop talks about it all the time with our staff. He knows he can count on him to make the right play and to execute under pressure.”
  • Marvin Bagley and Hield are getting some experience with a well-respected tutor, notes Jordan Ramirez of NBA.com. They are spending part of the summer at UCLA with Rico Hines, who has worked with James Harden, Kevin Durant and many other star players. “Getting on the court, being around him, he’s an unbelievable person, first and foremost,” said Trevor Ariza, who signed with the Kings last month. “He’s a gym rat as well. He’s always in the gym. We’re always in the gym. We’re always looking to get better.”

Pacific Notes: Jackson, Clippers, Ferrell

The Phoenix Suns unloaded 2017 fourth-overall pick Josh Jackson on the Memphis Grizzlies yesterday, after a tumultuous but oh-so-promising two-year stint with the franchise. Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic broke down exactly what went wrong for the once-prized prospect.

A plethora of red flags spoiled Jackson’s reputation off the court and eventually that proved to trump even his best performances on it. To Jackson’s credit, he managed to show high-ceiling talent despite playing for three different head coaches with three different playing styles, but the downside proved to much to bear for a young Suns organization that desperately needs to start moving forward.

Jackson averaged 17.0 points and 6.1 rebounds with over a block and a steal per games in games in which he played 30 or more minutes, but those flashes of excellence were few and far between as the Suns swingman struggled with his shot and controlling his emotions.

The Grizzlies, another team in the midst of a rebuild, will hope that a fresh start is enough to put the former Suns prospect back on the right track.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

 

Kings Waive Frank Mason III

The Kings have parted ways with a 2017 second-round pick, announcing today in a press release that guard Frank Mason III has been released. Mason will become an unrestricted free agent on Saturday if he goes unclaimed on waivers.

Mason, 24, was selected by the Kings with the 34th overall pick in the 2017 draft. He had a promising rookie season, averaging 7.9 PPG and 2.8 APG with a .360 3PT% in 52 games (18.9 MPG), but lost his place in the regular rotation last season.

As Jason Jones of The Athletic notes (via Twitter), Mason was supposed to play for the Kings in the California Summer League this week, but was held out of action due to a sore right hip. His $1.62MM salary isn’t scheduled to become fully guaranteed for 2019/20 until October 15, per Basketball Insiders, so Sacramento won’t be on the hook for that cap hit.

With De’Aaron Fox starting at the point in Sacramento and Cory Joseph being brought aboard to provide depth at the position, Mason became expendable for the Kings. However, the team plans to retain point guard Yogi Ferrell, according to Jones (Twitter link). Ferrell’s $3.15MM salary for 2019/20 will become fully guaranteed if he remains under contract through today, which appears to be a lock.

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Giles, Ferrell, McMillan

Lakers president Magic Johnson is getting rave reviews from owner Jeanie Buss on the job he has done in remaking the team, relays Dan Feldman of NBC Sports. Johnson’s standout move was luring free agent LeBron James to L.A., but he also cleared away a lot of cap space and convinced a series of veterans to accept one-year deals so the Lakers can take another big swing in free agency next summer.

“I have complete faith in Magic Johnson in terms of his ability to be a leader, to know how to put together a winner,” Buss said this week in an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show. “And I have patience. And I think what he’s done has exceeded my expectations, how quickly they’ve kind of turned around the roster.”

There’s more today from the Pacific Division:

  • Harry Giles still hasn’t seen any NBA action, but he has been the most intriguing Kings story of the summer, notes Noel Harris of The Sacramento Bee. The Kings were extremely cautious with Giles after making him the 20th pick in the 2017 draft, sitting him out the entire season to make sure his knees were fully recovered from a series of surgeries that date back to high school. Giles was impressive in Summer League action and was picked as the Rookie of the Year favorite by ESPN’s Kevin Pelton.
  • Yogi Ferrell may have a prominent role off the bench in the Kings‘ backcourt, writes James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area in an examination of the team’s potential guard rotation. Sacramento was able to land Farrell in free agency after he pulled out of an agreement with the Mavericks in search of more guaranteed money. Ham expects newly acquired Ben McLemore to be bought out or traded and notes that the team would like to move Iman Shumpert, but is having trouble finding a taker for his $11.4MM salary.
  • Jamelle McMillan is enjoying a homecoming after being added to the Suns‘ coaching staff, writes Cody Cunningham of NBA.com. The son of Pacers head coach Nate McMillan, Jamelle played four seasons at Arizona State before starting his coaching career. At age 29, he is one of the NBA’s youngest assistants.

Yogi Ferrell Discusses Backing Out Of Deal With Mavs

It might be fair to say that not many people back out of deals with Mark Cuban, but over the last four years, he’s had two NBA contracts disintegrate from his hands. DeAndre Jordan backed out of an agreement with the Mavericks during the 2015 offseason – an event that caused a Twitter-Emoji party – and this offseason, Yogi Ferrell had a change of heart after initially making an agreement.

“I decided I needed the chance in my career. With my style of play, I feel like it fits better with the Kings than the Mavericks,” Ferrell said on The Jim Rome Show (h/t SportsDay).

Dallas had reportedly told Ferrell that he’d occupy the backup shooting guard spot when he made the verbal agreement to re-sign with the club. It’s unclear the exact role the Ferrell will now play in Sacramento.

The combo guard will get a bump in salary on the Kings compared to what he would have received in the Mavs’ deal. Sacramento is paying him $6.2MM over two seasons, though the second year is not guaranteed. Dallas’ contract would have paid him $5.3MM over two years with the same stipulation on the second year of the deal.

“Cuban, he was the one that gave me my first opportunity in the league,” Ferrell said. “Coach [Rick] Carlisle is a great coach. When he first put me in, I’ll never forget my first practice he told me I was gonna start. The next day we were playing the Spurs, so everything was coming pretty quickly.

“I was fortunate they were able to put me in the position that they were in. There were no hard feelings.”

Kings Sign Guard Yogi Ferrell

11:02pm: The signing is official, per team press release.

JULY 23, 7:11pm: The second year of the contract is not guaranteed, Tim McMahon of ESPN tweets.

JULY 20, 3:04pm: The Kings and free agent guard Yogi Ferrell have reached an agreement on a deal, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Ferrell had initially agreed to a two-year contract with the Mavericks, but backed out of that agreement earlier today.

“We felt uncomfortable and will weigh our options,” Ferrell’s agent Cervando Tejeda told Charania at the time.

Sacramento’s deal with Ferrell will be worth $6.2MM over two years, according to Charania (Twitter link). His initial two-year pact with Dallas was said to be worth $5.3MM, with only the first season guaranteed.

While it’s not clear whether Ferrell’s new deal with the Kings will be fully guaranteed, it passes an important threshold — the 25-year-old received a $2.9MM qualifying offer last month, which made him a restricted free agent until the Mavericks withdrew it. His contract with the Kings will allow him to exceed that figure in 2018/19, whereas his initial deal with Dallas wouldn’t have.

Ferrell, a former Indiana standout, appeared in all 82 games for the Mavs last season, averaging 10.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, and 2.5 APG with a .426/.373/.796 shooting line. In Sacramento, he figures to slot into a backcourt that features De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Frank Mason, and Ben McLemore. Bogdan Bogdanovic may also see time at the two.

Nemanja Bjelica, the only other free agent to back out a verbal agreement this offseason, as far as we know, was also said to be discussing a possible deal with the Kings. It’s probably no coincidence that both Ferrell and Bjelica gravitated to Sacramento as they sought larger paydays — as we outlined earlier this afternoon, the Kings have much more cap flexibility for 2018/19 than any other team. Ferrell’s new deal will only use up a small amount of their $20.5MM in cap space.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Devin Harris To Return To Mavericks?

According to Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News, the Mavericks are looking towards veteran free agent guard Devin Harris as a replacement signee for Yogi Ferrell, who reneged on a deal with Dallas to sign a more lucrative contract in Sacramento.

Harris, 35, was essentially drafted by the Mavericks with the No. 5 overall selection in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft and played in Big D for three and a half seasons before being traded to the Nets in a deal that brought Jason Kidd to Dallas.

Harris returned to the Mavericks for the 2013/14 campaign and played an additional four and a half seasons in Dallas before being traded to the Nuggets midway through last season in a deal that brought Doug McDermott to the Mavs.

In his 14 NBA seasons, Harris has averaged 11.1 points and 4.1 assists per game with a career shooting line of .481/.327/.798.

Pacific Notes: Stephenson, Ariza, Harrell, Ferrell

Headed to his seventh team in five years, new Laker Lance Stephenson is hoping he can land a long-term contract next summer, relays Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports. Stephenson expected a longer stay in Indiana after appearing in all 82 games last season. However, after teammate Thaddeus Young opted in to a $13.7MM deal and Doug McDermott was added in free agency, the Pacers elected to decline their $4.3MM option on Stephenson. He wound up signing a one-year, $4.5MM deal with L.A.

“I’m definitely looking for a long-term contract after this,” Stephenson said. “I’m trying to find a home. I’ve been moving a lot and to different teams. I’m trying to find a place where I can actually call home and feel comfortable, and actually get a nice place and stay there for a while.”

There’s more this morning from the Pacific Division:

  • The Suns contacted free agent forward Trevor Ariza in the first minute of free agency, he says in a video interview tweeted by the team. The former Rocket agreed to change teams after receiving a one-year, $15MM offer from Phoenix. “Sometimes things run their course and it’s time for a new start and new beginning,” Ariza explained. “There were a lot of options for me, but the one that … showed the most promise was this one. I’m excited to be here. I’m happy to be here. It’s closer to home [in Los Angeles] for me.”
  • The new two-year, $12MM contract for Montrezl Harrell leaves the Clippers about $500K below the tax line, but sets up a difficult roster decision, Bobby Marks posts on ESPN Now. Re-signing Harrell gives L.A. 16 guaranteed contracts, along with non-guaranteed deals for Patrick Beverley ($5,027,028) and C.J. Williams ($1,378,242). Neither becomes fully guaranteed until January 10.
  • The Kings finalized a three-year, $20.5MM contract with Nemanja Bjelica on Saturday, but not an expected deal with Yogi Ferrell, notes salary cap expert Albert Nahmad (Twitter link). He speculates that Sacramento could be examining its options with $14MM in remaining cap space and may use the room mid-level exception to sign Ferrell to a two-year, $6.2MM deal at a later date.

FA Rumors: Ferrell, Goodwin, Muhammad

After having seemingly reached a two-year contract agreement with the Mavericks, Yogi Ferrell elected this morning to re-enter free agency. However, he doesn’t intend to drag out the process. According to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), Ferrell plans to make a decision within the next day or so.

Ferrell has received some interest from a handful of teams, including the Cavaliers and Pelicans, Charania reports, though a source tells Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that Cleveland’s interest came early in free agency. The Cavs haven’t had contact with Ferrell’s agent during the last couple weeks, says MacMahon.

As for New Orleans, the Pelicans used their full mid-level exception on Julius Randle and spent most of their bi-annual exception on Elfrid Payton. As such, the club couldn’t offer Ferrell more than the minimum. An offer that modest seems unlikely to win out, though it’s worth noting that a fully guaranteed two-year minimum contract would feature more guaranteed money than the Mavs’ offer did.

As we wait to see where Ferrell lands, here are a few more notes and rumors on free agents:

  • Multiple NBA teams have expressed interest in former first-round pick Archie Goodwin, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic. However, Goodwin is seriously considering a lucrative contract offer from a Chinese team and is expected to head overseas unless an NBA team offers him a fully guaranteed salary for 2018/19, per Scotto.
  • In a conversation with Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype, free agent wing Shabazz Muhammad – another former first-round pick – says he’s in the best shape of his life. Muhammed, who remains on the lookout for a new NBA home, is also trying to improve his outside shooting, telling Kalbrosky that he’s shooting hundreds of corner threes every day.
  • Veteran NBA point guard Tyler Ennis, who was waived by the Lakers in June, has signed a two-year deal with Fenerbahce Istanbul, according to the EuroLeague’s official site. Before heading to Europe, Ennis appeared in 186 NBA games over the last four seasons, spending time with the Suns, Bucks, Rockets, and Lakers.

Yogi Ferrell Changing Course On Mavs Deal

8:17am: The Mavs hadn’t heard anything from Ferrell’s agent before seeing Charania’s report, a source tells Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

7:45am: After reportedly agreeing to a two-year, $5.3MM deal with the Mavericks on Thursday, Yogi Ferrell has changed course, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). According to Charania, Ferrell will re-enter free agency in search of a better contract.

“We felt uncomfortable and will weigh our options,” agent Cervando Tejeda said.

Ferrell’s $5.3MM agreement with the Mavs included a non-guaranteed second season, so he was only assured of receiving about half that money. As cap expert Albert Nahmad observes (via Twitter), that means that the point guard would have been in line for a smaller guarantee than his initial $2.9MM qualifying offer, so it makes sense that he wouldn’t be thrilled with the arrangement.

If Dallas wants to lock up Ferrell, the team could increase its offer. The Mavs still hold Ferrell’s Early Bird rights, allowing them to go over the cap all the way up to the mid-level range to re-sign him. However, it remains to be seen how aggressive the club will be in attempting to bring back the 25-year-old.

It’s the second time this offseason that a player and team have seemingly reached a contract agreement, only for the player to have second thoughts — Nemanja Bjelica did the same with the Sixers. Of course, DeAndre Jordan‘s about-face in 2015 free agency is the most infamous example of this in recent years, but the Mavs were able to officially secure Jordan early in this year’s free agency.