As summer rolls through the sporting world, NBA free agency continues to heat up.
The Sacramento Kings have enjoyed a bustling offseason, hauling in Kansas forward Thomas Robinson in last month's Draft, inking point guard Aaron Brooks and acquiring forward James Johnson from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for a future second-round pick.
Sacramento looks to improve upon a galling 2011-12 effort, where they finished just 22-44 and fifth in the Pacific Conference. Yet a pressing question remains in the Bay: what roll does guard Jimmer Fredette have with the team?
Fredette, a touted prospect from Bringham Young University, lead all of Division-1 in scoring in 2010-11. His rookie season wasn't quite as scintillant, however, as the Glens Falls, New York native averaged just 7.6 points per night on .386 shooting.
With his basketball milieu clouted by Brooks and incumbent starting point guard Isaiah Thomas, are Jimmer's days in purple coming to a close? He hasn't quite won over his organization yet, and rumblings over a potential trade have surfaced.
Dealing Fredette and subsequent "Jimmermania" is a wise move for a Kings team looking to claw its way back into contention out West.
For now, the jury is out on Fredette's pro-readiness.
With just one (shortened) NBA season in the books, his upside is still huge. Keeping Jimmer in Sacramento for another go-around with limited minutes moves him another year away from his decorated college career and another year toward the ever-lingering "bust" status.
Assuming Thomas and Brooks man the one in 2012-13 and Marcus Thornton starts at the two, Fredette will likely see his stock dip this year.
NBA front offices revolve around momentum and value, and Fredette can only remain a commodity for so long. Dealing him now would yield the biggest return.
Locker Room Presence
Fredette has a Tebow-esque sense of controversy around him with many scouts knocking his style of play from day one. A player that causes such ostensible tension simply doesn't fit in the Kings' locker room, where forward Tyreke Evans and center DeMarcus Cousins are already volatile personalities. Fredette's minimal impact on the court doesn't outweigh the slew of media he attracts off of it.
Not the Right System
With Cousins posting an impressive 18.1 points per night in the low post and Thornton and Evans each commanding about 15 shots a game from the wings, Fredette isn't the right point guard to run Sacramento's offense.
A dominant perimeter shooter, Jimmer hasn't done much to prove himself as a viable set-up man; his prowess on the outside bumps into niches already occupied by his teammates. He averaged less than two dishes a night last year and never topped five assists a night in college.
Fredette averaged 3.5 turnovers per 48 minutes in 2011-12. He's just not suited for the Kings' personnel—making a trade inevitable.
An Intrigued Market
Despite the ubiquitous criticisms, there's still a market for Jimmer Fredette. Of course, markets collapse, and the Kings need to act quickly while their window is still open.
The Utah Jazz have been embroiled in trade rumors for the BYU product. His marketability in Utah is astronomical, and Fredette could be of service to other teams that struggle from behind the arc. His youth is certainly a plus as well.
Perhaps the Phoenix Suns could make a play at Fredette after losing out on sharpshooters Eric Gordon and O.J. Mayo.
The Kings clearly don't need to be worrying about a third-string ball-handler when they have other needs to address. The Kings could use some depth in the wings and at the four spot behind Thomas Robinson.
Trading Fredette is a logical conclusion to a woebegone hardwood relationship that seemed doomed from the beginning. Jimmer may remain a fan favorite and a popular name; but from a practical standpoint, he should no longer remain a Sacramento King.
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