Two Hoosiers sign free agent contracts, another traded on draft night


Senior guard Yogi Ferrell and junior guard Troy Williams walk back to the court after a timeout during the second half of the Sweet Sixteen game against number one seed North Carolina on . The Hoosiers lost 101-86. James Benedict and James Benedict

For the second straight season, IU did not have a player selected in the NBA draft.

Despite being projected by some to be drafted in the second round, both guard Yogi Ferrell and forward Troy Williams went unselected Thursday night.

Both did sign free agent contracts shortly after the conclusion of the draft with Ferrell signing with the Brooklyn Nets and Williams signing with the Phoenix Suns.

Neither are assured of a spot on the roster when the regular season starts, but both will travel to Las Vegas to compete in the summer league, a spot where most rookies and younger players try to prove their worth.

In the days leading up to the draft, Ferrell, IU’s all-time leader in assists and starts, saw his name continuously pop up as one rising up draft boards around the league.

The 6-foot guard not invited to the NBA combine in May was suddenly being projected as an early second round pick by some. However, those projections proved to be wrong, and Ferrell instead had a choice of where he wanted to continue his basketball career. Some reported Ferrell turned down offers to be drafted late in the second round, instead electing to have control over where he might play next.

The Nets are also a team in need of a point guard. Shane Larkin has a player option for next season, which means he can leave the team if he wants, which many think he will do. The Nets also have a team option for Jarrett Jack, who is coming off a torn ACL last season. Donald Sloan is also a free agent this summer.

The Nets also took two guards in Michigan’s Caris Lavert and Seton Hall’s Isaiah Whitehead, but they both project as shooting guards while Ferrell is a point guard.

Williams will enter into a more crowded situation than Ferrell. The Suns drafted Dragon Bender from Croatia and Marquese Chriss from Washington, two players similar to Williams, with the fourth and eighth picks of the draft.

While both Ferrell and Williams are headed into uncertain situations on teams that missed the playoffs last year, a former IU player was moved from a team consistently in the lottery to a team consistently in the playoffs.

Victor Oladipo, who played at IU from 2010 to 2013, was traded from the Orlando Magic to the Oklahoma City Thunder during Thursday’s draft.

The Thunder are fresh off a game seven loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, in large part because it could not contain the hot-shooting Klay Thompson. Now, with Oladipo, the Thunder have another talented defending guard to go along with Russell Westbrook.

The Thunder originally tried to trade up in 2013’s NBA draft to select Oladipo out of IU, but could not agree on a trade in time.

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