At 22, Jimmer Fredette has college experience and nationwide popularity
The Sacramento Kings acquisition of Jimmer Fredette from the 2011 NBA Draft comes at a crossroads for the struggling organization. The last time the Kings saw postseason action was 2006 and fan support has dwindled ever since. The drafting of Jimmer Fredette could represent the next phase in a rebuilding process or another undeveloped pick in Sacramento Kings history.
Bismack Biyombo was not the star, or even role player, that the Kings were hoping to snatch from the 2011 NBA Draft. James "Jimmer" Fredette was a welcome sight after his storied tenure at Brigham University leading the NCAA Division I in scoring. Indeed the acclaim of being the Wooden, Naismith, Adolph Rupp, and Oscar Robertson award winners bring a royal resume fit for a team by the name of Kings.
Bliss gives way to reality when taking a look at the Sacramento Kings depth chart projections for 2011. The team is full of medium stature defensive liabilities. The ongoing lack of specialized role players to fill the many voids of the franchise has prevented recent growth. Donte Green, Francisco Garcia, and J.J. Hickson all serve the same role and have new prospects to challenge them for playing time.
Additionally the training and development resources for the Kings will be overworked trying to convert production from Isaiah Thomas, Hassan Whiteside, and Marcus Thornton who all need work to stay up to speed with the competition at the NBA level. Jimmer Fredette deserves to be a top priority of the coaching staff but will have to compete for attention on the weaknesses of his game.
Jimmer Fredette is a shooter that could fall prey to becoming another Sacramento prospect of Tyus Edney, Sarunas Marciulionis, and Lawrence Funderburke. Talent development has not produced consistent role players in Sacramento over the past five years. Jumbling rotations has created instability and a lack of focus from bench players.
Will the Kings Regret Drafting Jimmer Fredette?
Still, regret is perhaps impossible when considering a single draft pick being the only risk of trying to obtain a sharp shooter who averaged over 28 points in his senior season. Fredette is no more of a risk than any other untested rookie. His ability to dish to teammates will be convenient in skip passes from Tyreke Evans to spread the floor as an offensive weapon. At a number ten overall pick the pressure on Jimmer is less magnifying allowing patience for acquiring his NBA game.
Hindsight not being an option it can be concluded that Jimmer Fredette has the potential to be a scorer and spot up shooter of value for the Kings. A mentoring veteran would be a great asset to help develop Fredette's adjustment to the professional. Taking Jimmer Fredette will not make the list of regrets for the franchise as long as they are not expecting too much too soon from the 22-year-old.
The spark of excitement is a welcome change as well to bring in new fans. The popularity of Jimmer Fredette is undeniable as he became one of the most popular stories of the NCAA March madness Tournament in 2010. He is a marketable player with a positive attitude that can benefit the energy level of the Kings.
Playing time will be available to help immerse Jimmer into his new found career competing amongst the mediocrity of the roster. His potential role might be the Peja Stojakovic type threat to be found coming off screens and set plays to spot up and make shots for years to come. The bigger regret for the Kings would have been not acquiring Fredette and asking yet another "what if" question to recent Kings history.