Best Potential Free-Agent Landing Spots for Jimmer Fredette
It's time to free Jimmer Fredette.
"The Sacramento Kings and guard Jimmer Fredette are finalizing a buyout agreement on his contract, league sources told Yahoo Sports," reports Adrian Wojnarowksi. And if he's no longer with the Kings, he'll finally have an opportunity to shine elsewhere.
Ever since reaching mythical status at BYU and getting thousands of basketball fans to yell out "Jimmer range!" as they launched a deep three-pointer, the point guard has been unable to stick in the Sac-Town rotation. The Kings selected him with the 10th pick in the 2011 NBA draft, but he's started just seven games in his three-year career.
Despite showing improvement each season, Jimmer has been employed by a Sacramento organization that staunchly refuses to give him much of a chance to show off his skills over a lengthy period.
Intrigued by his incredible talent from beyond the arc and the untapped nature of his game, plenty of teams will come calling once the buyout is completed. Assuming he clears waivers, he'll be free to sign wherever he sees fit.
The "Free Jimmer" movement will finally be complete. And due to the combination of need, off-court appeal and stylistic fit, these five teams would make the most sense of all when it comes to his next landing spot.
The Denver Nuggets already considered acquiring Fredette, but they instead went in another direction just before the Feb. 20 trade deadline. Denver traded Jordan Hamilton to the Houston Rockets for Aaron Brooks, seeking point guard depth behind Ty Lawson.
With Lawson battling broken ribs, Nate Robinson out for the season, Andre Miller gone to the Washington Wizards and no other options, point guard was a huge need in the Mile High City. But is Brooks going to be enough?
It wouldn't hurt to add a third guard, and Jimmer is the best bet on the open market.
Basketball-Reference shows that during the 2013-14 season, the Nuggets have been a rather middling squad from downtown. They shoot a lot, but they're only mediocre in terms of percentage.
Truth be told, though, it's time for Denver to start thinking about the future. This team isn't going to work its way back into the Western Conference playoff picture, making it vital to try acquiring high-upside players.
Despite Jimmer's lack of success with the Kings, he still remains full of potential. It's not inconceivable to see him scraping out a career much like J.J. Redick has enjoyed over the last few seasons.
Why not take that chance?
Los Angeles Lakers
It's time to play everyone's favorite game...NBA Math!
Question: What do you get when you add together Jimmer Fredette and Mike D'Antoni?
Answer: Offensive perfection.
Can you imagine a more perfect combination than the mustachioed head coach and the point guard with seemingly unlimited range on his jumper?
D'Antoni thrives with players like Jimmer at his disposal, and it's tough to think of a better situation for the former BYU standout to resurrect his career. He'd be asked to shoot even more three-pointers while playing at a fast pace and forgetting about defense.
It's basically everything that Fredette has ever wanted.
He's been buried by the Kings, but the 25-year-old shooting specialist has hit 49.3 percent of his shots from beyond the arc during the 2013-14 season. Sure, he's attempted only 1.8 triples per game, but it's hard to deny the rate at which he's connecting on those attempts.
If Midas D'Antoni can make just about every role player he touches turn into instant gold on the offensive end of the court, why would Fredette be any different?
He probably wouldn't be.
You're looking at one of the few players on the Memphis Grizzlies who's capable of consistently knocking down three-point attempts.
Does a team contending for one of the final spots in the Western Conference playoff picture really want to rely on Mike Miller for most of its contributions from beyond the arc? Probably not.
The Grizz have gone 268-of-781 from downtown during the 2013-14 season.
That's bad in so many ways.
First of all, 268 makes is pretty pathetic at this stage of the season. The Chicago Bulls rank No. 29 in triples made, and they're 60 ahead of Memphis, despite playing the same number of games. On top of that, the Grizzlies rank No. 26 in three-point percentage.
If you're going to take 'em so infrequently, at least make a decent percentage.
Nick Calathes and Darius Morris might be decent backup guards, but neither of them are particularly potent from downtown. There's space for Jimmer to come in and do what he does best.
Only Jon Leuer and Miller are shooting above 40 percent from downtown thus far, which is presumably the primary reason ESPN's Marc Stein reports Jimmer is a target for the Grizz.
New York Knicks
Not everyone thinks this is a good idea.
Dan Martin of the New York Post, for example, just doesn't believe in Fredette's ability to help the New York Knicks:
Fredette, who rose to stardom at BYU but has disappointed since being selected 10th overall in 2011, likely won’t do the Knicks much good in that department. He had been serving as a backup point guard with the Kings, but according to the Sacramento Bee, his effectiveness was limited by poor ball-handling skills and an inability to create his own shot.
The Knicks are also looking to upgrade their defense, according to Yahoo! Sports, and Fredette is a notoriously poor defender.
Poor defender? Yep, pretty much.
Backup for the Kings? That's true, though I'm not sure how that's a reason he has to serve as a backup everywhere.
Poor ball-handling skills and inability to create his own shot? Those are issues, but not particularly dire ones.
There's one thing that trumps all of the weaknesses—Jimmer is a point guard.
Especially given Raymond Felton's pending legal trouble, per Julie Cannold and Shimon Prokupecz of CNN.com, the Knicks desperately need players who can actually line up at the 1. Felton wasn't having the best season—not by a long shot—and he's still the best option on the roster.
Rotoworld's depth chart doesn't even have another 1-guard listed.
On top of the dire need for a replacement floor general, especially after they unsuccessfully pursued so many different options before the trade deadline, the Knicks have to imagine the potential for another Linsanity.
Madison Square Garden is the perfect forum for the rejuvenation of Jimmermania.
It's all about location.
Jimmer may have grown up in New York, but he's a folk hero in Utah.
His time at BYU was absolutely legendary, and there's no doubt that the Utah Jazz faithful would immediately take to him. After all, Google Maps shows that the Marriott Center and EnergySolutions Arena are only 49 minutes apart.
Gordon Hayward might be the constant source of cheers, and Trey Burke will get to the same level once he's more established. But the sheer volume of the crowd when Jimmer stepped onto the court wearing the right uniform?
Well, the Sacramento Kings might not own the indoor volume record much longer. Jimmer could use a new team to break the record he helped set with the old one.
On top of that, the Jazz can afford to take a flier. They aren't competitive this season, and they're just trying to figure out which pieces are keepers and which should be allowed to go by the wayside.
It's all about location, but investing in potential doesn't hurt either.