Don’t worry folks: this isn’t going from some BYU honk who wants Jimmer on the Jazz more than anything. I’m going to start off with that caveat.
But with today’s announcement that the Sacramento Kings would not be picking up the option on Jimmer Fredette’ s final year of his contract, it’s worth looking ahead to identify some teams and systems that would be a nice fit for his skillset. While generally this sort of practice isn’t worthwhile, this time it is. He will be able to identify teams that can accommodate his unique abilities and maximize his talents.
It hasn’t been all sunshine and roses for Jimmer since his entrance into the NBA. Drafted as the 10th overall pick by the Sacramento Kings, Jimmer was placed in a system-less offense ran by a less-than-stellar coach with me-first type players. He also happened to be drafted along with fellow rookie Isaiah Thomas Jr. who happened to exceed expectations. He was surrounded by a plethora of other shooting guards who had long NBA track records, yet while being on a bad team (they did have the 10th pick after all…), these veterans were looking to reestablish themselves in the league.
It’s no mystery that Jimmer Fredette is a shoot-first guard. However, this should not be mistaken so as to label him as a selfish player. He will pass the ball, and he will involve his teammates. However, he needs a home where perimeter play is a core part of the offense, as opposed to a fall-back, and a home where three point shooting is in need. He needs a home where he’s not looked to to be a primary scoring option, but rather a complimentary weapon to other perimeter players, with a talented big man in the middle to be an interior option.
With that in mind, I’ve come up with a few stops I think make a lot of sense for him. Let me know what you think:
- Stop Number One – Indiana Pacers
Indiana is a team that is arguably in the mix for an NBA title, depending on the health of Granger and David West, both highly injury prone. With Hibbert and David West being dangerous interior scoring threats, Indiana still does allow for and encourage perimeter scoring. Paul George has been a nice shooter for the Pacers on the perimeter, but they have lacked a “dead-eye” three point threat that has been such a key component to NBA title holders
- Stop Number Two – New York Knicks
Jimmer’s affinity for the Knicks is well documented, and deservedly so growing up in the state. But fondness for the program isn’t the only reason why he could be such a great fit. New York is a team built on aging stars who are each individually talented but may lack the cohesion to gel as an overall unit, and are certainly a stretch to consider as a real championship threat. New York does have some perimeter shooting certainly with Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith. But how much depth do they have on the bench? New York doesn’t need stars. They need gap-filling role players that can play well in limited minutes..
- Stop Number Three – LA Lakers
This option pains me to the core. But it’s a good one for him. The Los Angeles Lakers have a history of maximizing individual skills from “incomplete” players and ultimately leading them to long term NBA careers. Shannon Brown came to the Lakers as a guy with athleticism. And that’s about it. He thrived in the Lakers system as a defender and above the rim player. Derek Fisher (while this is already a painful topic, I may as well go all in on the pain) had a terrific career in Los Angeles… and a sub-par career everywhere else. They are a veteran-laden team in need of role players that will play well, similar to the Knicks. Perimeter shooting leaves something to be desired on the Lakers that boasts a guard line of Kobe (good), Steve Blake (meh), Jordan Farmer (less than meh), etc. Jimmer could be a nice boost for them.
- Stop Number Four – Utah Jazz
Obviously we should look at this option in the spirit of a simple blog post. The PG position in Utah currently is absolutely abysmal, with Trey Burke being injured. While Burke is an unproven commodity, Jamal Tinsley and JLIII have proven to be….unproven. They will not take Utah anywhere, and that’s a fact. Will Jimmer take Utah to the promised land? No, he won’t. But is he a significant upgrade in talent, shooting, and drawing defenders away from our bigs? You better believe it.
However, Jimmer on the Jazz is a bad idea simply from a fan-base standpoint. The one player who’ll get more loudly booed than Derek Fisher or Kobe Bryant is Jimmer Fredette….whom so happens to be possibly the nicest kid to ever play college sports in this state….but I digress.
I like the first few options for Fredette. I hope his agent takes a good strong long at those options as he enters unrestricted free agency this next season. He undoubtedly will get picked up by a squad. He is too talented to let simply go over to Europe. However, it is crucial Jimmer finds a spot where he gets plenty of playing time and where he can thrive. Or else he could be in danger of signing his last ever NBA contract next Summer.