The Sacramento Kings recently declined to pick up Jimmer Fredette’s contract option for 2014-15, making him an unrestricted free agent after this season. There has been speculation the Kings may try to trade him since he doesn’t fit into their long-term plans after trading for Greivis Vasquez and drafting Ben McClemore, so the Kings’ backcourt is now very crowded.
Fredette is very similar to another player that was thought of as a bust his first few seasons in the NBA, J.J. Redick. It’s way too early to write off Fredette — also known as Jammin’ Jimmer from his days at Brigham Young University.
Redick’s first few seasons with the Orlando Magic:
14.8 minutes per game, 6 points per game, made 41% of his field goals, 38.8% of his 3-pointers, 90% of his free throws, 1.2 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 0.3 steals
8.1 mpg, 4.1 ppg, 44.4% fgm, 39.5% 3fg, 79.4% ftm, 0.7 rpg, 0.6 rpg, and 0.1 spg
Jimmer’s first few seasons:
18.6 mpg, 7.6 ppg, 38.6% fgm, 36.1% 3fg, 83.3% ftm, 1.8 apg, 1.2 rpg, and 0.5 spg
14 mpg, 7.2 ppg, 42.1% fgm, 41.7% 3fg, 85.9% ftm, 1.3 apg, 1 rpg 0.4 spg
Redick followed that up with six points in 17 minutes per game in this third season, which is what Fredette is averaging his third season. Redick didn’t really develop until his fourth season when he averaged 9.6 points in 22 minutes and played in all 82 games.
Before his breakout season, Redick was often called a failure or a royal bust. Oftentimes, fans mistakenly think every player has to be an All-Star or great player when they come into the NBA. Redick and Fredette are shooters who are also decent passers, but playing time is needed to evaluate them.
And if you want to go a step further and look at their per-36 minute averages, they show just that.
Redick’s first few seasons (using the per-36 minute stat):
14.6 ppg, 3 rpg, 2.1 apg, and 0.7 spg
18.3 ppg, 3 rpg, 2.1 apg and 0.5 spg
Jimmer’s numbers are very similar:
14.7 ppg, 3.4 apg, 2.3 rpg, and 1 spg
18.4 ppg, 3.4 apg, 2.6 rpg, and 1.2 spg
Jimmer is a slightly better passer, but he and Redick are pretty much the same player when it comes to scoring. They both remind me of Jeff Hornacek. If you look at Hornacek’s numbers his first tw seasons he would have been called a bust too. He averaged 5.3 and 9.5 points in his first two seasons.
It’s too soon to call Fredette a first-round bust because he hasn’t been given ample opportunity to prove himself. If he gets traded the ideal destination is a no-brainer — the Utah Jazz. He played his college ball in Provo and the Jazz are in rebuilding mode so he should get more playing time.
Gordon Hayward is a small forward masquerading as a shooting guard until Richard Jefferson’s contract comes off the books. Bring in Jimmer as a designated shooter and see what he can do. It’s not like the Jazz are going to be contending any time soon. Bring in the player who had a lot of success in the state of Utah.
Darren Jacks is a regular contributor to OneManFastBreak.net. Follow him on Twitter @djroxalot.