Welcome to our annual Clippers season in review series. Every day until the end of July, we’ll be taking a look back at the players who ended the season with the Clippers (apologies to Malik Fitts and Mfiondu Kabengele). Today, we continue with Yogi Ferrell.
Name: Yogi Ferrell
Years in the NBA: 5
Key stats: Ferrell played eight games in the regular season for the LA Clippers, averaging 4.6 points and 2.1 assists in a deep bench role for most games. He also played in nine playoff games, but typically to see out the very end of games.
Future contract status: Signed a multi-year contract at the end of April with the Clippers. Ferrell is could earn a cool $1,977,011 for the 2021-22 season, but his deal is non-guaranteed. L.A. has until Jan. 10 to fully guarantee his contract.
Ferrell was a late-season addition to the Clippers, showing well enough in a 10-day stint that he earned a multi-year contract to see out the rest of the season and beyond. A veteran journeyman point guard who stepped in a few times for bigger roles in the regular season when the Clippers were decimated by injuries, he showed glimpses of why a contender would add him to the rotation.
For a team that often struggled to see good ball movement to unlock their offense, Ferrell’s pure point guard play offered a look the team desperately needed at times. In fact, there were a few occasions in which head coach Ty Lue threw Ferrell and other reserves on early in a game when things weren’t clicking, and Ferrell’s ability to facilitate provided an immediate boost. He didn’t get a ton of playing time, but Ferrell certainly made use of the competitive minutes he was given down the stretch.
The big highlight of the season with the Clippers for him came on Apr. 21, when during his 10-day contract he played heavy minutes as the Clippers beat the Memphis Grizzlies at LA’s most shorthanded point of the season. Coming in and just being asked to vibe through the game, Ferrell was huge in the 4th quarter to help the Clippers seal the win.
It’s tough to provide a comprehensive picture of Ferrell’s game with the Clippers because admittedly, his playing time was limited. He played 96 minutes in the regular season and only 15 in the playoffs, the latter basically entirely garbage time, so there weren’t many times when we got to see him really stretch his legs and play a long time.
Is it possible he could offer a lot more, if only given a chance? Absolutely, he wouldn’t be the first player to scrap around the NBA for awhile before finding the right spot. But I think the fact that he was penciled in on the depth chart behind Patrick Beverley and Rajon Rondo, two vastly more experienced but also pretty old and in many ways limited point guards, perhaps tells a story itself. I do think on a team like the Clippers in which they screamed out for a traditional ball handler to get play going that a player like Ferrell could find some run and possibly thrive, but he’s not yet gotten that chance, and it’s unclear if he will.
Future with the Clippers:
Ferrell is on a hefty contract for a guy who was about 12th or 13th on the depth chart for next season, so it could go a few different ways. He could get a bigger role next season, he could get waived at some point, or he could be trade bait. I’m not sure the trade market for him as a player is especially robust, but as we know in the NBA, players as assets always have value, and he could be added on to a potential deal. The Clippers did this last offseason with Rodney McGruder, for example, who was in a similar position on the depth chart overall. So we’ll see what happens.
Overall grade: Incomplete
Barely more than 100 minutes combined on the floor for the Clippers is a tiny sample size and that means reading box scores and advanced stats is not particularly useful in this case. That, and the fact that Ferrell joined up in mid-April, makes this a pretty obvious incomplete grade.