Player: Yogi Ferrell
Relevant stats: In 44 appearances for the Sacramento Kings this season, Ferrell has averaged 4.2 points per game on 39.6% shooting from the field, including 27.5% from behind the arc, while averaging 11 minutes per game. All four stats are career-lows for Ferrell.
Contract status: Ferrell is in the final year of a two-year, $6.2 million deal he signed with the Kings in 2018.
Recap: When Ferrell backed out of his deal with the Dallas Mavericks to sign with the Kings, Sacramento was in desperate need of a point guard to backup De’Aaron Fox, and to Ferrell’s credit, he served that role well in his first season with the team, averaging a career-high 14.2 points per 36 minutes on a career-high 43.5% shooting from the field.
This season, the need for Ferrell’s ball-handling and shot creation off of the bench was less dire with Cory Joseph, who signed a three-year, $37 million contract with the Kings last summer. There was a path for Ferrell to squeeze out playing time in the Kings’ crowded back court rotation, but it involved him being a better shooter than Joseph by a wide margin.
Not only has Joseph been a better shooter this season, but Ferrell’s numbers have been down across the board. The regression was expected, but not to the extent it’s been this season.
For context, this is what his shot chart looked like last season.
Ferrell had a stretch when Fox was out where he looked good, but not good enough to have a spot in the rotation once Fox returned. Ultimately, if Ferrell’s shots aren’t falling at a high clip, it’s hard to justify keeping him on the floor because he’s not an elite passer, and opposing players hunt for him on defense. Ferrell’s actually pretty good at being an irritant on the defensive end for his size, but there’s only so much he can do at 6’0”.
Future with Kings: At his best, Ferrell is a good backup point guard who can provide a spark off the bench with his scoring. However, it’s clear that he needs a bigger role than the one he’s had with the Kings this season to perform at a high level. That’s not a knock on Ferrell; most players in the league that aren’t All-Stars are rhythm players.
If the Kings brought Ferrell back to be their third string point guard, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but they’d probably be better off drafting a point guard with one of their three second-round picks, or seeing what they have in Kyle Guy, who had an impressive season with the Stockton Kings.
Additionally, Ferrell can probably find more minutes with another team as an unrestricted free agent. For those reasons, it would be surprising to see Ferrell back with the Kings next season.