On Tuesday night, the Mavericks finished their worst season since Dirk Nowitzki’s rookie season at 24-58. However, despite the poor overall season, some Mavericks players proved themselves to be bright spots for the future. Two of the bright spots for the future of the Mavericks include upcoming restricted free agents Doug McDermott and Yogi Ferrell. Yogi proved to be a capable backup guard at either spot, and showed that he could take the backup point guard spot from JJ Barea when Barea’s time with the Mavericks is up. McDermott displayed his worth as an elite 3 point shooter off of the bench. Let’s dive deeper into each of the two players:
Doug McDermott ended the season tied for highest 3P% post all star break with Otto Porter at 52%. It became clear only a couple of games into McDermott’s time as a Maverick that he was going to fit well with Rick Carlisle. Both McDermott and Carlisle have given high praise to the other, and it’s clear to see that they mesh well. In the short time (~33% of a full NBA season) that McDermott was on the roster, McDermott averaged 9 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.1 APG, and just 0.8 TOPG in 23 minutes per game on shooting splits of 48/49/86.
One thing that made McDermott so successful in the 2 months of his time in Dallas was how easily plays were being run for him. He can use off-ball screens better than most players in the league, and his smart cuts also aided him in getting easy baskets.
McDermott is a restricted free agent in the upcoming summer. The Mavericks have a lot of cap space, but all signs point towards McDermott staying in Dallas long term. With McDermott’s high basketball IQ, which is something I’e noted is important to succeed under Rick Carlisle, McDermott should be a useful bench player for years to come.
Next, Yogi Ferrell repeated the success he had in 36 games for the Mavericks in 2017 for a full season in the 2017-18 season. Yogi averaged 10.2 PPG, 3 RPG, 2.5 APG, and just 1 TOPG on shooting splits of 42.6/37/79.6 as he appeared in all 82 games of the season.
Yogi improved on both off-ball and on-ball play this season, while also making strides as a defender. While Ferrell is undersized, there were many times this season where a bigger player couldn’t get past him due to his underrated strength and understanding of on-ball defense. Yogi has a high basketball IQ, which has been huge for him in succeeding in the current system. However, there were a handful of times when Yogi had some disappointing clutch shooting showings. For example, early in the season, he had the chance to tie the game up with 3 free throws with less than half of a second left, but missed the 2nd free throw that made the game impossible to win. While that did help the Mavericks’ draft standings, it was discouraging to see him negatively impact the outcome of the game in the most important moments.
With that being said, Yogi is likely to be the backup point guard of the future with the way things are currently shaping out to be. All signs currently point to Yogi being a Maverick beyond the 2017-18 season, meaning he should sign a deal in the summer as a restricted free agent.
Expect both Yogi Ferrell and Doug McDermott on the roster for the 2018-19 season and beyond. My prediction for the contracts that each sign are:
Yogi Ferrell: 3 years/$15 million.
Doug McDermott: 4 years/$28 million