After his spectacular performances in four games, Yogi Ferrell and the Mavs have agreed on a two-year contract dprice@star-telegram.com
After his spectacular performances in four games, Yogi Ferrell and the Mavs have agreed on a two-year contract dprice@star-telegram.com

Sports

Mavericks set to sign point guard Yogi Ferrell to two-year contract

February 04, 2017 11:56 AM

UPDATED February 04, 2017 06:09 PM

DALLAS

It appears Yogimania will be part of the Dallas Mavericks for quite some time.

After Yogi Ferrell’s spectacular four-game performance this past week, the Mavericks have agreed to sign the 6-foot point guard to a two-year contract. The Vertical was the first to report the agreement, which Mavericks owner Mark Cuban confirmed to the Star-Telegram.

Yogi has been amazing. We think he can help the Mavs for years to come.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban

“Yogi has been amazing,” Cuban said Saturday. “We think he can help the Mavs for years to come.”

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The prorated contact will be worth $208,000 for the rest of this season and $1.3 million for the 2017-18 season.

Cuban admitted Wednesday that the Mavericks would indeed keep Ferrell for the remainder of this season.

“I’m pretty sure that’s what will happen. It won’t be my final call,” Cuban said Wednesday. “It’ll be coach [Rick Carlisle] and Donnie [Nelson, the president of basketball operations]. It’s not a money issue, and so it’ll be up to them.”

Ferrell’s contract can’t be signed until Tuesday – when his 10-day deal expires. The Mavericks, a source said, are in talks with Ferrell’s agent in hopes of finalizing the contract on Tuesday, and those conversations are going well.

After Ferrell poured in 32 points in 39 minutes in Friday’s 108-104 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, the Mavericks were convinced that they needed the playmaker on their roster beyond this season.

Signed to a 10-day contract Jan. 28, Ferrell has been outstanding since joining the Mavericks. The Indiana University product has averaged 17.8 points and 5.0 assists while shooting 52 percent from 3-point range since his arrival in Dallas.

Thus, onlookers are stunned as to how Ferrell was not chosen by any team in last summer’s NBA Draft.

“I felt like I had maybe 10 out of 16 really impressive workouts with different teams, so I felt like I could sneak in [the draft], but it didn’t happen,” Ferrell said. “So I went down a list of options of teams that wanted me for their summer league and training camp, and I went with Brooklyn.

Not getting drafted, I was never down on myself. I stayed with it, I stayed in the gym and continued to work and just knew that my time was going to come.

Mavericks rookie Yogi Ferrell

“Not getting drafted, I was never down on myself. I stayed with it, I stayed in the gym and continued to work and just knew that my time was going to come.”

The Mavericks are 4-0 since signing Ferrell, with the diminutive guard injecting the type of energy the team has needed all season. That spark has helped the Mavericks (20-30) climb right back in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race.

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“Obviously, he’s a great dude, and when things happen to good people you’re really happy for them,” Mavericks forward Justin Anderson said. “And then outside of that he’s been good for our team. He’s picked up the pace; he’s smart. I’m happy for him.”

Normally teams sign a player to a second 10-day contract before committing beyond that. But in Ferrell, the Mavericks saw enough to expedite the process.

Ferrell gave the Mavericks plenty of reasons to believe.

9 3-pointers by Yogi Ferrell against the Trail Blazers on Friday, tying a rookie franchise record.

▪ One day after signing his 10-day deal, Ferrell was in the starting lineup on the road against the vaunted San Antonio Spurs. Ferrell held his own against Tony Parker and finished with nine points, seven assists and two steals. He also iced the Mavericks’ 105-101 victory with a pair of free throws with 7.3 seconds to go.

▪ The next night against the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, Ferrell outplayed All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, finishing with 19 points, five rebounds and four steals in 38 minutes during the Mavericks’ 104-97 victory.

▪ On Wednesday, Ferrell collected 11 points and five assists in 38 minutes as the Mavericks ran past the Philadelphia 76ers 113-95.

▪ Ferrell scored 32 points and picked up five assists during Friday’s triumph over the Trail Blazers. He was 11 of 17 from the field, including 9 of 11 from 3-point range. The nine 3-pointers tied a Mavericks rookie franchise record set by Rodrigue Beaubois against the Golden State Warriors on March 27, 2010.

Ferrell eventually signed with Brooklyn last summer and played 10 games with the Nets this season. But the bulk of his work came in the NBA Development League with the Long Island Nets.

That’s where the Mavericks found him and offered him a 10-day contract.

“He’s hungry, man,” Anderson said. “He’s playing for something bigger than himself, obviously. He feels like he probably belongs in this league, and teams didn’t really take a shot on him.”

It’s not just the numbers that have impressed the Mavericks. It’s his poise, his temperament and his ability to play like he’s been in the NBA for a few years.

Cuban said: “He has brought an energy and confidence that obviously is not expected from a 10-day guy.”

Injuries to guards Deron Williams, J.J. Barea and Pierre Jackson was the impetus the Mavericks used to pursue Ferrell.

“You never know what people’s internal motivation is and what that chip is on his shoulders,” Anderson said. “I’m just glad that whatever it is, it’s got him fired up and he’s bringing it every night.’’

Dwain Price: 817-390-7760, @dwainprice