Perhaps no player in the last decade of Indiana University basketball ended their career as beloved as Yogi Ferrell. Despite not securing a National Title, Ferrell leaves the Hoosiers as the all-time leader in assists and one of the program's top 10 players of all-time.
However, his departure brings many questions about his future in the NBA. Despite being lightning quick and a knock-down shooter, Ferrell's height is not conducive to a long NBA career, if any career at all.
Still, with a strong work ethic evident in his time at IU, Ferrell could carve out a role akin to the likes of Isaiah Thomas (the Celtic, not the former Piston) and Nate Robinson, both listed shorter than Ferrell. Any role Ferrell would have would be predicated on his shooting and quickness, most likely as a change-of-pace guard off the bench.
The senior will very likely not be drafted on Draft night, but will likely have a choice of options of Summer League teams to join. We take a look at which teams and franchises might be the best places for Ferrell to end up.
5. New York Knicks
Before you go too crazy, hear me out: the list of current Knicks guards is ugly. Jose Calderon, Langston Galloway, Jerian Grant, Tony Wroten, Sasha Vujacic and Aaron Afflalo. You're telling me Ferrell isn't better than at least half of those guys?
Last season, Ferrell might have been a better fit on this team as the triangle would be an offense perfectly suited to him, but it's an out-dated offense and the Knicks no longer have Kurt Rambis as head coach. Instead, Jeff Hornacek takes over with a history of success with guards, namely in Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic with the Suns.
Ferrell could step in and see big minutes with a depleted back court in need of youth and talent. And with New York in the middle of a rebuild, the pressure that normally comes with the Knicks will be minimized this season.
wait what's that
oh they traded Grant and Calderon Derrick Rose?
Phil needs a backup point, and Yogi could fit here.
4. Orlando Magic
Selfishly, I want this mainly for the prospect of seeing Ferrell line up beside Victor Oladipo again after only getting one year of them together in Bloomington.
Realistically, this wouldn't be a terrible situation for Ferrell. As it stands, the Magic's back court of Elfrid Payton and Oladipo have failed to gel, the former not a pure point guard nor a great scorer and the latter lacking the ball-handling acumen to play point guard.
The biggest road block in this scenario is that of Brandon Jennings, who was dealt to the Magic last season and served as the Sixth Man most predominantly. A back court off the bench of Jennings and Ferrell would be abysmal, even if coached by Frank Vogel.
But don't we all want to see Ferrell and Olaipo just ONE more time?
3. Atlanta Hawks
The best situations for Ferrell are going to be on teams that move the ball and shoot threes, which is basically the exact way one would describe the Hawks. With Jeff Teague potentially on his way out this summer as part of a rumored deal with the 76ers and Nerlens Noel, the Hawks would need a new point guard to come off the bench.
Few offenses are going to be more perfect for Ferrell than Atlanta's, who also have the 54th pick in the draft and were one of the handful of teams to work Ferrell out earlier in the pre-Draft process. While it's unlikely he'll be selected, their familiarity could lead to a deal post-Draft.
2. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs are a great situation for Ferrell because basically anything they touch turns to gold. Seriously, tell me the last time the Spurs made a roster decision that didn't pan out. If they deem Ferrell worthy of a roster spot, then you know something good is cooking.
One of Ferrell's biggest strengths that we haven't mentioned is his basketball IQ. If there's anything that would catch Pop's attention, it would be Ferrell's awareness on the court. He was always aware of where teammates were and knew when/where to pass and when to shoot.
The Spurs are getting really old and there's a real possibility the likes of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and even Tony Parker have played their final games for the Spurs. Ferrell could help bring in a new, younger era in the back court for the Spurs.
1. Golden State Warriors
There's no scenario more fun to envision than Ferrell as part of the Warriors and their offense. Imagine Yogi taking Leandro Barbosa's role, which isn't hard to imagine when you consider Barbosa's age (33) and his play-style (very fast).
The way to get the most out of Ferrell would be to maximize his shooting and play-making abilities. The Warriors' offense would do both with their shooting and the drive-and-kick possibilities for Ferrell as a point guard.
Golden State doesn't have a second-round pick, but if they came knocking after the draft, I'd imagine it'd be very hard for Ferrell to turn down an offer to play in an offense perfectly suited for him.