Former BYU Basketball Stars Are Story Lines To Watch in NBA Off-Season


Feb 13, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Sacramento Kings point guard Jimmer Fredette (7) drives the ball to the basket during the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Kings 123-100. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Congratulations Miami Heat, you won back-to-back titles. You now have two out of your not five, not six, not seven, or whatever amount you proclaimed to win when your trio signed together in 2010.  Cheers to you!

Now that the NBA season is over we get to dive into the juicy NBA off-season.

You’re probably asking yourself, why is a BYU blog discussing the NBA?  BYU & the NBA are two terms that usually don’t fit in the same sentence.  But this off-season Cougar Nation has some story lines to follow on the professional hardwood.

Will Brandon Davies get drafted in next Thursday’s NBA Draft, and will Jimmer Fredette remain in Sacramento?

Let’s tackle the first question.

Will Davies get drafted?  My gut instincts tell me he won’t.  But Davies’ work ethic and how he has risen to a prospect in the NBA Draft Combine has been nothing short of incredible.  Through hard work I could see him getting drafted by a team late in the 2nd Round.  Some franchise will have to see a lot in him and feel they can maximize his potential.

As was mentioned in a previous Cougar Center Podcast a month ago by Bean Mace (@beanmace), Davies needs to go to a franchise that is young, up-tempo and utilizes undersized big men.  Case in point, Golden State, Minnesota, Milwaukee, or even a Houston.  Places like Memphis wouldn’t suite Davies.

Davies is the ultimate “tweener”.  Played the Center position at BYU and his game is modeled after a five, but he can run the court like a Small Forward.   If he can establish a consistent mid-range game from 15 feet, Davies might find himself in the league next season and for years to come.  If the NBA isn’t in his future, he will definitely be dotting a European roster.  Just ask former BYU stars Travis Hansen and Terrell Lyday about the type of money you can make in Europe.  Dolla, dolla bills y’all.

Speaking of Europe, something that hurts Davies in the late picks of the Draft is the fact that many teams will draft a Euro and stash them away for a few years.  Rather than spend a pick that will likely not contribute right away, they turn to a European who will then be broken down in-depth by Fran Fraschilla on the NBA Draft telecast.

If Davies gets picked in the Draft, he would be the 18th BYU player selected in the NBA Draft since 1950.  It doesn’t happen very often.  The last guy to get selected from BYU?  Let’s start discussing about him a bit.

What will happen with “The Jimmer”?  We know two things so far, his current team the Kings will be staying in Sacramento, and they fired the Head Coach, Keith Smart.  That is music to many ears, especially the #FreeJimmer supporters on Twitter.

Mike Malone is the new Head Coach for the Kings.  He was previously at Golden State helping them become one of the more improved defensive teams in the NBA this past season.  But he also learned from Mark Jackson on an up-tempo offensive attack anchored by sharp-shooter Steph Curry.  Many BYU supporters feel Malone has a Steph Curry in the making in Jimmer.  Maybe Malone can give Jimmer an opportunity to thrive and succeed.  If there is no plans to make Jimmer a key player in the rotation the Kings need to do the best things for both parties and deal Fredette.

Shooting is a lost art in the NBA.  Teams will take a chance on bringing life back to Jimmer’s career.  As of January this past season, Jimmer had the highest average for Points Per Minutes played in the league.

Jimmer needs to stay in Sacramento for now.  Heading into a contract year, see how Malone uses him first.  But if the DNP’s start piling up again, hopefully for Jimmer’s sake the Kings make a deal before the trade deadline and send him somewhere he will get an opportunity. But I would expect come late October for the season tip-off Jimmer will be in a Kings uniform.  With new ownership though, anything can happen.