Potential Trade Scenarios, Packages and Landing Spots for Jimmer Fredette
Jimmer Fredette's two-year search for consistency hasn't brought him any closer to his desired goal.
During his two seasons with the Sacramento Kings, he has witnessed the sale of the franchise, two coaching changes and a number of roster tweaks. He's often found himself a King by title only, as the No. 10 pick of the 2011 draft has yet to average more than 18.6 minutes per game.
He joined a crowded backcourt on his arrival, and while some of the faces have since changed, his depth-chart position has yet to improve. If his role on this roster seems uncertain to you, just imagine how he feels.
The Sacramento Bee's Jason Jones tried to unravel the mystery. He asked Fredette how the new ownership regime would affect his situation. "I don't know," Fredette said, via KSL's Tom Kirkland. "I was hoping you could tell me something!"
The Kings, according to Jones, aren't shopping Fredette, but they are taking calls for the sharpshooter.
How might those phone calls sound? Probably less flattering by the day, thanks in large part to Sacramento's yo-yo approach to his playing time.
But there are still a number of teams who could help Fredette maximize his potential, and they should have more than enough trade chips to grab Sacramento's interest.
76ers receive: Jimmer Fredette
Kings receive: Royce White, second-round pick
If Fredette's looking for minutes, the Philadelphia 76ers have them in spades.
Philly's 2013-14 backcourt rotation, as it currently stands, features only rookie Michael Carter-Williams and veterans Jason Richardson and James Anderson. The 76ers freed themselves of all expectations for next season when they traded away first-time All-Star Jrue Holiday earlier this summer, so the team can afford to wait for Fredette to find his natural position.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein and Chad Ford, the Kings unsuccessfully tried to flip Fredette for a first-round pick in the watered-down 2013 draft. White's anxiety disorder might prevent him from providing the Kings with anything more than that nonexistent draft pick, but if the former Iowa State star ever makes it onto the hardwood, he has limitless potential.
This would be a gamble for Sacramento, but perhaps not one any bigger than hoping that defensive-minded coach Michael Malone can find a spot in his rotation that Fredette's past two coaches could not. Philly's second-round pick also equates to something more like a late first-rounder, as the 76ers look to be in for a long 2013-14 season.
Jazz receive: Jimmer Fredette, Patrick Patterson
Kings receive: Jeremy Evans, Brandon Rush, second-round pick
Thinking of Fredette in a Utah Jazz jersey seems too good to be true, so it will probably never happen. That being said, this is still a potential swap that both of these teams should consider.
Utah made the smart move this summer by letting both Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap bolt in free agency, which freed up space for blossoming bigs Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. But the Jazz made that forward-thinking decision with the understanding that it may take some time to reap the benefits of that move, which might not bode well for Utah's gate receipts.
Landing Fredette, a former BYU star, would be a godsend in that regard. He could be the team's most marketable player from day one and potentially its first guard off the bench. He passes well enough to share the floor with Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks, and his three-point touch would help space the floor for rookie Trey Burke to operate.
Patterson also helps answer some questions about Utah's frontcourt depth, and the 24-year-old still has time to grow with this young roster.
Brandon Rush could force his way near the top of Malone's perimeter depth chart, as he's a supremely talented "3-and-D" option. His $4 million contract comes off the books next summer, so Sacramento's financial commitment is minimal if Rush isn't fully recovered from the torn ACL that ended his 2012-13 season after only two games.
Evans and the second-round pick give Sacramento two chances to find at least one productive piece for the future.
Los Angeles Lakers
Lakers receive: Jimmer Fredette, Patrick Patterson
Kings receive: Jordan Hill, Wes Johnson
The Los Angeles Lakers tried to keep Dwight Howard this summer. But after the perennial All-Star departed for the Houston Rockets, the team's primary offseason directive was to keep its books as clean as possible for the 2014 offseason.
The suddenly frugal Lakers have since filled their roster with a collection of NBA retreads (Chris Kaman, Nick Young, Jordan Farmar) and castaways (Wes Johnson). Regardless of the writing on the wall, though, the Lakers aren't about to sacrifice the 2013-14 season. Not if Kobe Bryant has any say in the matter at least.
Losing Jordan Hill might sting now, but Fredette and Patterson should be better fits for Mike D'Antoni's up-tempo system.
Fredette helps stretch the defense (41.7 three-point percentage last season), and his ability to create offense is as good as anyone on L.A.'s revamped reserve unit. The sudden emergence of Patterson's long ball (38.6 three-point percentage last season) gives L.A. a much more proven asset than Hill's in-progress jump shot.
Hill still has potential to develop into the best player in this deal, and his combination of physicality and athleticism may make him Sacramento's best complement to DeMarcus Cousins. Johnson can't be moved until October because he signed in L.A. this summer, but his lack of a consistent three-point shot (career 33.6 percent) could put him in D'Antoni's doghouse before that day even comes.
San Antonio Spurs
Spurs receive: Jimmer Fredette, Travis Outlaw
Kings receive: Matt Bonner, Nando De Colo, first-round pick
The San Antonio Spurs know all about the importance of NBA reclamation projects. Three players in their top-eight postseason rotation in 2012-13 arrived in the Alamo City as undrafted free agents (Gary Neal) or waiver-wire finds (Boris Diaw, Danny Green).
When general manager R.C. Buford sees that a team is willing to sell low, he strikes quickly and efficiently. Even if Fredette develops into nothing more than a floor spacer, that still gives Gregg Popovich something he can use.
There's still a bit of a logjam in this backcourt, but each reserve guard brings something different to the table. Marco Belinelli brings size and experience, Cory Joseph is the strongest defender of the group, and Fredette adds instant offense.
Outlaw might look like a salary dump, but don't be surprised if Buford and Popovich find a way to utilize a 6'9" forward with four 37-plus-percent three-point shooting seasons on his resume.
The first-round pick highlights Sacramento's return package—if a 2013 first-round pick was enough for Fredette, then a 2014 first-round choice is found money—but the 26-year-old De Colo could give Sacramento yet another option at point guard. Bonner is nothing more than financial relief, as his $3.9 million contract will expire at season's end.
Wizards receive: Jimmer Fredette
Kings receive: Chris Singleton, second-round pick
The Washington Wizards looked to add insurance behind their dynamic backcourt duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal this summer. While they succeeded in adding quantity, it remains to be seen how much reliable quality they brought in.
Eric Maynor still has upside, but like Fredette, he's struggled to see the consistent playing time to turn that potential into production (career 4.5 points and 3.0 assists per game). Garrett Temple returned to Washington for the veteran's minimum, but the the 27-year-old only has 102 regular-season appearances on his resume. Rookie Glen Rice Jr. appears to have a bright future, but he may need some time to get his feet wet after spending last season in the D-League.
Fredette's ability to play both on and off the ball makes him an intriguing fit alongside Wall or Beal. He's also a potential partner for any of the three reserve guards currently on Washington's roster.
Chris Singleton is Michael Malone's type of player: tough, physical, defensively instinctive. He's also one of the likely losers in the numbers game for the Washington Wizards, as eight different players are lined up to compete for minutes at the two forward spots.
Singleton could at least battle John Salmons for the backup small forward gig in Sacramento, or even slide into Luc Mbah a Moute's understudy role if rookie Ben McLemore struggles out of the gate.