BYU's Jimmer Fredette Could Ease the Pain for Utah Jazz Fans

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2011

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 05:  Jimmer Fredette #32 of the Brigham Young University Cougars appears on the court during a game against the UNLV Rebels at the Thomas & Mack Center January 5, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. BYU won 89-77.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

NBA fans across the country were shocked Thursday when the news of Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan's resignation broke.  

No matter how people felt about the Jazz, just about everyone was at least a little saddened by Sloan's departure.  Those melancholy feelings are particularly strong for anyone whose NBA allegiance is to this Utah team.

Jazz fans have reason to be upset over this, and concerned for the future.  Sloan is out, and some feel star point guard Deron Williams may be next.  Many teams will be putting together attractive trade packages for Utah in the next couple weeks. 

Even before Sloan stepped down and news of a riff between he and his star player surfaced, there were rumors that Williams would look to get out of Utah sometime soon.  

The Boston Celtics showed us how dominant "Big Threes" can be.  LeBron James took it to the next level with the spectacle of The Decision.  Now every superstar has dreams of playing with other huge names in huge markets.

Since LeBron's exodus to South Beach, trade rumors have surrounded Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and now Deron Williams.

Williams could be shipped out before the February 24th trade deadline, or during this coming offseason.  If that happens, Utah will need a new point guard, and someone who can bring smiles back to their fans' faces.

Sounds like Jimmer time to me.

Jimmer Fredette already has millions of people in a small frenzy over his fantastic play at BYU.  Mormon fans are particularly excited about Fredette (due to the fact that he is a Mormon).  

He would be an instant fan favorite for the Jazz, a team in a state whose population is over 50 percent Mormon.  He would light a fire under a tired and distraught fanbase.  

Jimmer wouldn't just be a gimmick, though.  The fans would love him before he ever suited up in a Jazz uniform.  And once he stepped out onto the EnergySolutions Arena floor, that love would be warranted.

He's the best college basketball player in the country.  Kevin Durant called him the best scorer in the world.  Plenty of celebrities have tweeted about his basketball brilliance.  I've compared him to Steve Nash, and more recently to Stephen Curry.

He's averaging over 27 points and four assists per game this year.  He's shooting 47 percent from the field, 42 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the free-throw line.

He's quick, handles the ball well, sees the floor, and he's proven he can create his own shot against teams that were supposed to have superior athletes (UCLA, Arizona, San Diego State).

His best and most valuable skill is what will help him be an instant impact player in the NBA.  Jimmer can already shoot better than most players in the league.  

Even if the typical criticisms leveled at white American guards were true (too slow, not athletic enough), Jimmer's shooting would more than make up for those things.

If the Utah Jazz move on from the Deron Williams era, they should absolutely look to draft Jimmer Fredette to take his position.

Utah is quickly sliding out of the playoff picture, and if they lose Deron Williams, they'll almost certainly miss the postseason.  They could very well end up in the late lottery stage of the draft, which is where most mock drafts have Jimmer going right now.

Utah may be in very unfamiliar territory right now.  They stand at the precipice of a rebuilding phase, something they never really had to do under Jerry Sloan.  Even when they had lackluster players, Sloan found a way to make them competitive.

The current state of the Jazz is shaky, but Jimmer could help stabilize this team.  A core of Fredette, Gordon Hayward and Paul Millsap could be very good in a couple years.

It wouldn't be too long before the fans would be able to move on emotionally from Deron Williams and Jerry Sloan.  That would all be thanks to being JIMMERED!


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