Former NCAA Division I men's player of the year Jimmer Fredette, who bounced around the NBA from 2011 to 2016 before joining the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association, may be returning stateside shortly.
The 30-year-old Fredette has averaged 6.0 points on 41.2 percent shooting in 235 career games for four NBA teams. The former BYU guard led Division I in scoring with 28.9 points per game during the 2010-11 season. The Milwaukee Bucks selected him 10th overall in 2011 and traded him to the Sacramento Kings on draft day.
Fredette has found much more success in the CBA, however, as evidenced by his 36 points per game this season. That mark is good enough for fourth in the league.
The CBA is obviously a sizable level below NBA-caliber play, but it is home to many former pro players, as evidenced by the list of the league's top 100 scorers. Of note, former first-round draft picks Shabazz Muhammad, Jared Sullinger, Donatas Motiejunas and Tyler Hansbrough are in China.
Chances are Fredette isn't about to average 36 points per game for the Suns should Phoenix choose to sign him, but the team doesn't have much to lose at this point.
Inking Fredette is a no-risk signing. The 17-55 Suns are playing out the string of a lost season and destined for a high pick in the 2019 draft. Why not kick the tires on a former collegiate star and see if he's improved following his first NBA stint?
If it works out, then he could be part of the rotation next year, presumably at a reasonable salary. If not, then the Suns move on at the end of this season.
Regardless, the team may need some backcourt reinforcements, especially if Suns guard Tyler Johnson's sore right knee keeps him out for longer than the three games he's already sat. Fredette is a solid option to fill a rotation gap and could be an excellent comeback story to boot.