NBA Draft 2011: Will Isaiah Thomas Play More Than Jimmer Fredette for the Kings?
Anyone who knows my work on this site is well aware of my shameless admiration for the Jimmer. I honestly think he may have been this year's most underrated prospect, but I could argue that the No. 10 pick in 2011 represents a bad fit for both Jimmer and the Kings.
Sacramento already has a pair of combo guards who take a ton of shots. Marcus Thornton averaged 17.5 field goal attempts and Tyreke Evans put up an additional 16.4 a game.
Plus, they have a young big man with well-documented attitude problems in DeMarcus Cousins. He averaged 12.4 attempts a game last year and will loudly and publicly demand the ball if his touches and attempts go down in his sophomore season.
Jimmer's game is all about attacking with the ball in his hands as well. He has the talent and attitude necessary for a shift in his approach, but this may be a seismic one. Playing with the aforementioned Thornton, Evans and Cousins, Jimmer will rarely get the ball in a position to score.
He's used to creating his own shot, but in the NBA he shouldn't have to (and obviously won't be able to quite as easily). He may be able to start right away in Sacramento, but it's hard to see chemistry developing with this bunch.
The Kings are a dysfunctional team with troubled players and a coach who is constantly at odds with them. Plus, there's the mess over whether or not this team will even be in Sacramento for the 2012-13 season. On the surface, this doesn't look like a situation that will foster development in JImmer's game.
If he had gone to the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns or New York Knicks, he may not have started right away, but transitioning to a true point guard would have been easier and that would have served him well over the remainder of his career.
Even if he does start for Sacramento, it's hard to see him in that role for long. There were a lot of rumors suggesting that the Kings' coaches and scouts didn't want Jimmer nearly as much as ownership did.
He has the unenviable task of winning over his coaches, teammates with an attitude of entitlement and of course, the doubting masses who have been irrationally predicting his failure for months.
His lofty status as a No. 10 pick will at least place him in the rotation from day one. To maintain that role, or assume a greater one, he'll have to overcome immense obstacles and play at an extremely high level right away.
If he doesn't, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Kings plug the No. 60 pick into Jimmer's spot on the depth chart. Isaiah Thomas is more of a pure point guard right now and taking him with this year's last pick was a clear "Plan B" move.
With all that said, if I was a gamblin' man, I'd still bet on Jimmer. He's faced doubt and difficult situations before, and he's emerged each time.
There's an awful lot stacked against him in Sacramento and only time will tell if this is more "refiner's fire" than "consuming fire."
You can follow Andy Bailey on Twitter @Andy_Bailey
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