Ferrell and Williams agree to summer league deals

UPDATED 2:30 p.m.

Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams only had to wait a day to secure opportunities at the NBA level.

After going unselected in Thursday’s NBA Draft, both former Hoosiers have landed summer league contracts. Ferrell has agreed to a deal with the Brooklyn Nets, according to multiple reports, while Williams has agreed to a deal with the Phoenix Suns.

Indiana confirmed the arrangements on its Twitter account on Friday afternoon.

Ferrell’s mother, Lydia, tweeted earlier Friday morning that her son would soon have an opportunity to prove himself to NBA decision makers.

“Brooklyn Nets will soon see that they have a gem,” Lydia Ferrell wrote. “Yogi will continue to rise to the top! Yogi NEVER disappoints!”

A summer league deal doesn’t guarantee a roster spot in the fall, but it will be another chance for Ferrell and Williams to get themselves in front of league scouts and front office personnel.

After he was named an alternate and did not participate in the NBA Draft Combine in May, Ferrell worked out for 16 teams during a whirlwind tour of the country over the last month. Indiana’s all-time leader in assists and games played and started, Ferrell could see his first opportunity to play when the Nets begin the Las Vegas Summer League on July 9 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“I think Yogi’s biggest obstacle has always been his size,” DraftExpress.com’s Mike Schmitz said of the 6-foot point guard. “For him, coming in and being a spark-plug off the bench, being a guy who can step in, play 94 feet and really get into the ball (will help him). … There are guys who have had success, even smaller guys, coming off the bench and just filling it up — Eddie House, guys like that. He can carve out a niche similar to that.”

Ferrell, a First Team All-Big Ten selection and member of the league’s All-Defensive Team, was viewed as a second-round talent in this year’s draft, and coach Tom Crean said he could see Ferrell going as high as the early portion of the round. But point guards including Kentucky’s Tyler Ulis, Notre Dame’s Demetrius Jackson, North Carolina’s Marcus Paige, Oklahoma’s Isaiah Cousins and California’s Tyrone Wallace were all selected in the second round, and Ferrell was not.

While serving as an analyst on The Vertical’s draft show, Crean said Ferrell has plenty of non-basketball specific qualities that will help him stand out as a professional.

“Toughness (and) durability,” Crean said. “Didn’t miss a practice. He fights and plays with an edge and that’s what I love about him.”

Williams accepted a gamble by foregoing his senior season at IU to enter the draft. Although he has the body and athleticism of an NBA athlete, his consistency may have caused teams to shy away. Williams was a Third Team All-Big Ten honoree as a junior, averaging 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds.

Phoenix begins play in the Las Vegas Summer League on July 9.

“Tremendous athlete,” Schmitz said. “He’s a guy who’s going to be able to guard multiple positions on the perimeter. I think making shots with him is an important thing. He showed flashes of it at times. This (spring), he was making shots with range consistently. It’s just (about) always being the same player and making the right decisions.”

One comment

  1. Lydia,
    I agree. The cream always rises to the top. How fortunate Yogi is to have a mother like you!

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