When a player is drafted in any sport, the most important factor is team fit – however, there is no more important factor than team fit in the NBA. If you don’t fit with the team that drafted you, for a myriad of reasons, you have a very low likelihood of success.
Enter Jimmer Fredette, who played two and a half seasons with Sacramento (bad fit) before being bought out and signing with Chicago (better fit) for the rest of the season. Its safe to say Jimmer’s experience has not been what fans have expected.
Jimmer’s NBA career has been less than stellar, especially considering what his peers have gone on to do (see Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson). But I don’t think that this is completely the fault of Mr. Fredette.
Jimmer was not a fit for the Sacramento Kings. Plain and simple. Jimmer looked as though he could be a fit for the Chicago Bulls, but never got much of a real chance to prove it on the court.
So what is the future of James Taft Fredette? I see three options:
1. Re-sign with the Chicago Bulls.
I think Jimmer could have a future with the Bulls (bringing back #32 just feels right). There are a few reasons I could see this working out.
Coach Thibodeau could be a Godsend for Jimmer. His defensive mentality and intense work ethic would serve Jimmer well as a coach. The Bulls need shooters, and obvisouly we know what Jimmer can do when he gets a chance to shoot the ball.
The downside to the Bulls is the fact that Jimmer is buried on the depth chart right now in Chicago. Ahead of him is Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, and D.J. Augustin.
Hinrich and Augustin are both free agents this summer, but if the Bulls bring both of them back, that doesn’t bode well for Jimmer’s future in Chicago.
2. Sign with San Antonio.
This is my personal favorite. Coach Popovich and the Spurs just know how to develop players (remember when everyone wondered who would have the better NBA career, Kawhi or Jimmer?).
Patty Mills proved he is worthy of being a starting PG in the league during the finals, and the Spurs will need a backup for Tony Parker if Mills leaves this summer. Words cannot describe how great the fit would be in San Antonio.
Jimmer would be able to come into a small market with low expectations and slowly work his way into being a solid rotation player.
Coach Pop and the Spurs are like the Island of Misfit Toys. They take foreign players that wouldn’t fit with any other team and turn them into ballers. Haters say Jimmer should go play in Europe where his style would allow him to excel – why not just join the Spurs?
3. Sign with a team that needs reliable shooters.
If that sounds stupid, consider the fact that the NBA has become a perimeter-oriented league, with spot-up shooters being increasingly important.
Teams like the Thunder, Grizzlies, Clippers, Hornets, or Raptors all have needs for shooters and backup point guards. Also consider that almost half the league needs help in their backcourt this offseason, another good sign for Jimmer’s future.
I honestly have no idea how things will play out. My favorite scenario is the San Antonio Spurs as a landing spot for Fredette, but the truth is until it happens, all we have are guesses.
As much as I love Jimmer, he is a shooting guard in a point guard’s body, who lacks elite athleticism. However, I believe if given the right opportunity to develop in a strong system with a smart coach, he can become a great player in the NBA and make BYU fans proud.
Editor’s Update [1:00 p.m. 6/20/14]
Jimmer being targeted by Greece powerhouse Panathinaikos B.C.?
— Sportando (@sportando) June 20, 2014