During his senior season with BYU, Jimmer Fredette was quite close to a basketball god. However, things, haven’t turned out quite as he wished in the NBA, which led him to bounce around a bit last season before landing with the New Orleans Pelicans, who might be the last team to give him a chance to succeed in the league if he doesn’t improve.
Ferdette was the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, selected by the Milwaukee Bucks and then traded to the Sacramento Kings in a big three-team trade. Fredette never really made it as a backup point guard or shooting guard for the Kings, struggling when it came to shooting off the dribble, thriving in the pick and roll and mostly his defense.
Fredette has been busy working on those things during this summer at the Pelicans’ training facility. According to the 25-year old guard, playing for the Bulls last season (only 8 games) but mostly just being around that team helped him a lot when it came to understanding a bit more about defense.
Offensively, Fredette provides something the Pelicans struggled with last season: A shooter, but unless he can show some improvement in either being a point guard or guarding bigger players when playing a shooting guard, being a 40% shooter from beyond the arc won’t help him very much.
Entering his fourth NBA season, Fredette quickly lost his charm with the Kings’ coaching staff and front office. He played just over 18 minutes during his rookie season, averaging 7.6 points per game, but that time on court dropped to 14 minutes (his scoring to 7.2 per game) and he barely had more than 10 minutes a night before getting traded to the Chicago Bulls, who used him very sparingly.
The NBA is about spacing the floor and shooters these days, but it depends in which positions. At the moment, Fredette is likely to contend with Russ Smith for the backup point guard role behind Jrue Holiday, but unless he can show that there’s more to him than long range shooting, his minute numbers won’t improve in New Orleans either.