7 Reasons Why Jimmer Fredette Is Perfect for the Sacramento Kings
The senior guard out of BYU won numerous awards in his last year with the Cougars including the Rupp Award, Oscar Robertson Trophy, AP Player of the Year, and the Naismith Player of the Year to go with his 29 points per game season.
Many critics did not like the selection of Fredette by the Sacramento Kings, who struggled last season, ending with the second-worst record in the Western Conference, but here are seven reasons why he is a perfect fit for this young franchise.
1. Fan Excitement
It is quite easy to recognize that there is a buzz about the first round pick for the Sacramento Kings, Jimmer Fredette. The Kings had the second-lowest attendance in the NBA last season, averaging just over 13,800 fans, with only the Indiana Pacers below them.
When the Kings were on the road, the attendance at those games were just around 17,000 fans, which really should be the home attendance. Granted, the Kings were the second-worst team in the NBA, but Fredette should bring a lot of fans into the building wearing that #7 jersey.
*Stats from ESPN.COM
2. Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins
Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins are two guys who are going to benefit largely by the addition of Fredette. He is an offensive threat, so they no longer can double Evans and make him take a bad shot which, along with his injury, caused him to shoot five percent lower than his rookie year and average three less points per game.
With Fredette joining the squad, teams will have to watch for his outside shot ability, which will keep the defense honest and should lower the double-teams on Evans and Cousins, who also shot a dismal 43% from the field.
3. Defensive Issue? Not Necessarily
One of Fredette's biggest questions is his defense. However, this really is not as big of a deal as people are making it out to be. He is a 6'2" guard with a 6'4" wingspan, which is to Stephen Curry and Deron Williams. Fredette is average athletically, but that is something he can work on with some vigorous training.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Fredette said, "There are a lot of question marks out there. There are a lot of guys who don’t think I can play at this level and I won’t be able to dominate as well as the college level. I’m not expecting to do that at the NBA level right away anyway."
That alone shows that he is going to prove people wrong and work hard to improve his game in the best he can which starts on the defensive side of the ball.
Critics of Fredette also pointed out that he looked as if he could care less about playing defense. Well, that was almost a given being on a team where you are forced to score 33-plus points per game as you are really the only offensive option. He will not be able to do that on this Kings team, so expect his defense to jump to another level.
4. Mid-Range Jumpshot
The biggest part of Fredette's game is his shooting ability. In his final year at BYU, he shot 45 percent from the field as well as 40 percent from the three-point line, while the Kings shot 45 percent as a team and also 34 percent from three-point range. Bringing in another shooter will benefit this team by making them more dangerous from the field.
If a team shoots better from the field in terms of jump shooting, it also impacts the inside game. The big men such as DeMarcus Cousins and Samuel Dalembert could really take advantage of this. The addition of this part of Fredette's game to the Kings offensive mix could definitely add another dimension to the Kings' offense.
5. Passing Ability
One part of Fredette's game which is very underrated is his passing ability. He averaged 4.3 assists per game in his last season with the BYU. Fredette was forced to find the open man when teams would double and triple cover him in order get him off the ball.
Fredette showed strong ability in handling the ball throughout his career in college even though he did average 3.5 turnovers in his senior year.
One of the Kings weakest spots is the passing game, as they only averaged 20.4 assists per game, which ranked them 23rd in the NBA. If Fredette took his 4.3 assists and kept it into the season with the Kings, it would place him third on the team behind only Tyreke Evans and Beno Udrih.
6. Not Being No. 1 Option
Fredette not being the No. 1 option on a team will benefit his game largely. He will find himself with wide-open shots, which almost never happened in college. The inside game of the Kings will decide how much exposure to the ball Fredette will actually see. If DeMarcus Cousins and Samuel Dalembert can control the game inside, it will leave Fredette open for jump shots.
Another criticism of Fredette was that he had so many turnovers at BYU. With him being a third or even fourth option, his turnovers will diminish with his strong ball-handling ability. Fredette is not the perfect passer, but he always seems to find the open man when there is one.
The versatility and willingness of Fredette to do what the Sacramento Kings want him to do is a huge plus going into this season. It is unknown whether Jimmer Fredette will come off the bench with Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, John Salmons or even Francisco Garcia possibly in the starting lineup. With all of those guys trying to play three positions, it won't be easy to fit a player like Jimmer Fredette into the mix.
It will be definitely interesting to see where the Kings have Fredette playing and whether he will be a starter or not. But, by the end of the season, there is a really good chance that Fredette will find himself in the starting lineup because of these seven reasons.