After a few disappointing years with the Sacramento Kings, Jimmer Fredette will finally get a chance to realize his potential with the Chicago Bulls.
NBA.com announced the signing and provided a statement from Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman:
The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed free agent guard Jimmer Fredette for the remainder of the season. In accordance with team policy, terms of the contract were not announced.
“We are very excited to add a player like Jimmer to our roster,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman. “We’ve followed him closely throughout his collegiate and professional career, and believe he’ll be the type of player that will fit in with our group and be an asset to the team.”
Fredette will wear No. 32 and he will be available for Chicago’s game today versus New York.
This agreement comes on the heels of Fredette's buyout with the Kings, putting the shooting guard on waivers. Sam Amick of USA Today then reported the player's intentions after noting that he cleared waivers:
Former Sacramento Kings guard Jimmer Fredette has cleared waivers, I'm told. He still intends to sign with the Bulls.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) March 1, 2014
Fredette has now officially signed a deal will join the Bulls and will hope to make a big impact for the rest of the year and the postseason.
The former BYU star gained notoriety during his final year in college, leading the nation with 28.5 points per game while becoming a consensus National Player of the Year. His shooting ability in particular helped him be selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft.
Unfortunately, he struggled to get playing time throughout his three years in Sacramento. In fact, his minutes per game decreased from 18.6 in his rookie season to 14 last year to 11.3 this season. Unsurprisingly, his production steadily dropped as well.
However, Fredette showed when he was on the court that he is still capable of lighting it up from deep. In 41 games, he made 49.3 percent of his shots from three-point range, a mark that would lead the league if he had enough attempts to qualify.
Bleacher Report's Kelly Scaletta also provides some further statistics to prove the guard's skill:
Jimmer Fedette has the highest eFG% of any player with at least 100 points off of pull-up jumpers (56.3%).— Kelly Scaletta (@KellyScaletta) March 2, 2014
This skill fits perfectly with what the Bulls need going forward. Before the signing, head coach Tom Thibodeau told Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune, "The more shooting you have, the more it opens up the floor. We want to open things up to attack off the dribble, with our cuts, things of that nature. We feel that is an area of need."
Chicago currently shoots 34.4 percent from beyond the arc, a mark that is better than just three other NBA teams. Fredette could see plenty of playing time as he brings something that few others on the roster are able to provide.
Additionally, Nick Friedell of ESPN points out that a culture change could be a good thing:
Taj Gibson made a good point in regard to Jimmer's future. Believes he may thrive by getting out of Sac's culture and into Thibs' system.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) February 28, 2014
As long as Fredette gets onto the floor, good things should happen. He has proven himself as an elite shooter, and that alone should be able to provide value to the Bulls as they look to contend in a relatively weak Eastern Conference.
With enough playing time, the guard could even show off a more diverse skill set that was on display throughout his college career. In this case, he could earn himself a nice payday in the offseason.
Until then, he will likely do whatever it takes to help his new team win over the next few months.
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