Jimmer Fredette on 'Unfinished Business' in NBA: 'This Time, I'll Succeed'November 27, 2018
Former BYU star and NBA player Jimmer Fredette has been playing in China for the past two seasons, but he's hoping to make an NBA return soon.
He spoke with Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype about his desire to give it another go in the NBA:
"I want to have another opportunity in the NBA because there is some unfinished business for me there. After this season is over, I want another NBA chance. This time, I'll succeed. I feel really good about how I am playing. I know that if I get a chance, I will take advantage of it and be successful and help a team win. I'm excited to see what the future holds. I'm going to finish my contract in China this season and be the best I can be for my team. But after that, I will see what is out there and try to be on a roster for the NBA postseason."
Fredette, 29, was the No. 10 overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, who immediately traded him to the Sacramento Kings. He has appeared in five NBA seasons for the Kings, Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans and New York Knicks, averaging 6.0 points and 1.4 assists while shooting 41.2 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from three.
That's a disappointing career for a player who was one of college basketball's most exciting players during his time at BYU.
Things have turned around in China, however, as Fredette has averaged 37.4 points per game in the Chinese Basketball Association while shooting 41.2 percent from three. He's a two-time All-Star and won the league's 2016-17 International MVP award.
That doesn't guarantee Fredette would make an impact upon his return to the NBA. Questions remain about the 2-guard's size, defense and athleticism, which all hampered him in his first tenure. Yes, Fredette can shoot, but it remains hard to imagine him as anything other than a reserve gunner for an NBA team given those deficiencies.
Fredette willingly acknowledged that he's still working on his defense:
"I have a willingness to defend and I've gotten leaner and I have gotten quicker. I've put on more strength. I know how to use my body effectively now that I'm older, which helps me cut guys off. It helps to know the scouting report and do whatever I can to make the guy that I am guarding feel uncomfortable and do something that he does not love to do. I'm trying to take away the one or two things he does best and put him off balance. It's about playing smart within a defensive scheme."
There's little question that he can score, though, and in an NBA dominated by the three-point shot, there's probably a role for him on a team. Fredette certainly hopes so.