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Will he stay or will he go: Yogi Ferrell

Anthony Parisi will analyze each young Nets player battling for a roster spot. Will he stay or will he go?

NBA: Preseason-Brooklyn Nets at New York Knicks Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Yogi Ferrell is trying to claw his way into a spot on the Nets final roster. It won’t be easy. Despite having a successful college career at Indiana — Ferrell is Indiana’s all-time leader in assists and games started — he went undrafted. The Nets signed the 6’0” point guard to a one-year deal with $100,000 guaranteed.

Ferrell has opened some eyes during the Nets first two preseason games. Coach Kenny Atkinson called Ferrell the “Energizer Bunny” because of his ability to score in bunches and frankly because he’s dynamic. With a herky-jerky, unpredictable style, he can get into the paint and finish.

Ferrell has scored 13 points and garnered four assists in Brooklyn’s first two preseason games while playing 27 total minutes. Ferrell has looked solid offensively for Brooklyn so far, but defensively he has struggled. In the third quarter vs. the Knicks, Chasson Randle dominated him.

Ferrell’s defense has been an area of concern and the 23-year-old will need to improve defensively if he wants to make it to the final 15-man roster.

Then, there’s the issue of backcourt jam.

With a roster stacked with guards, it will be a challenge for Ferrell to make it to Opening Night in Brooklyn. Greivis Vasquez, Isaiah Whitehead, Randy Foye and Caris LeVert all have guaranteed deals. And all of them have played both guard positions. Not something the diminutive Ferrell can do.

Ferrell liked the fit with the Nets because of Atkinson’s player development reputation and Ferrell stated his agent and Sean Marks have a good relationship. If it’s not the Nets final roster for Ferrell, he’ll most likely end up with Long Island, the Nets brand new D-league affiliate.

Despite Ferrell’s solid play so far, at least on defense, it appears that Long Island will most likely be where Ferrell ends up. The Nets see a lot of potential in Ferrell and sending him to the Long Island Nets would help him further develop his game. The benefit of having a D-league team playing and practicing in Brooklyn is that management can keep a close eye on Ferrell and monitor his progress more efficiently.

For Ferrell to make an already guard-heavy Nets roster, he would need to really open some eyes during the rest of the preseason. Ferrell has shown flashes of potential early in the preseason, but it most likely won’t be enough. Barring some extenuating circumstances, Ferrell will most likely spend this season in Long Island.

In the past, Brooklyn would have to keep a player like Ferrell or lose him, period, but having a D-league team now provides the Nets with a new comfort level and allows a player like Ferrell to remain in the organization if he doesn’t make the final roster.