The Nets’ undrafted point guard made a strong effort to distinguish himself in their first preseason game Thursday. Jeremy Lin was pretty good, too.
While most of the attention was focused on Lin during the Nets’ 101-94 win over the Pistons — Lin scored 21 — anyone who watched the fourth quarter can attest to the fact that his sub, Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, made a fairly convincing case to be considered for a spot in the opening day roster. Granted, that’s not saying all that much. But when you have about a half dozen point guards coming to training camp every day, it’s pretty much an honor just to be nominated.
“I think when making the right play happens, you have a great chance of winning,” said Ferrell, who came out of out of Indiana University as a potential late second-round pick, but didn’t get a phone call on June 23. “I feel like the more wins you can get, such as myself, trying to make the team, then you can try to make your case as a valuable asset to make the roster.”
Ferrell was a dynamo off the bench, scoring five points and grabbing two rebounds in an extremely hard-nosed 12 minutes in which he ably corralled the Nets offense in a late-game surge.
“He played well,” coach Kenny Atkinson said after practice Friday. “He’s got a lot of characteristics we like. We love his explosiveness, like how he shoots it. I think he’s improving defensively, but I think those roster decisions are later down the road, but he played well last night.”
Either way, the Nets have shown an affinity for Ferrell, who signed a partially-guaranteed one-year contract worth $100,000. That came after an impressive summer league debut in which he averaged 8.8 points and 1.8 assists. At the very least, the contract means he’ll serve the Nets in some capacity this year, and if that happens to be in the D-League, so be it.
“It’s always hard for someone not to hear their name on draft night,” he said. “But you know, I always heard a lot of cases of guys going undrafted and still making a team, whether it was a summer league team or whether it’s the D-League, it’s still called up to another team. I knew my dreams weren’t over. It was just time to go back to the drawing board and figuring out what situation I wanted to go into best and I felt Brooklyn was the best opportunity for me.”