Per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, former NBA guard Jimmer Fredette has been drawing interest from numerous NBA teams for a return in March.
After playing in the league in 2015-16 for the New York Knicks and New Orleans Pelicans for a combined 6 games, Fredette moved onto the Chinese League. During his tenure there this season, he has won the league MVP, was near the top of the league in scoring with 37.5 points per game, and scored 73 points in a double-overtime loss, which was the fourth-highest scoring total in CBA history.
His NBA performances have been less than stellar to say the least. He only averaged 1.5 points a game last year in his 6 games on the court, and only 3.6 points per game the year before through 50 games.
So, with his March return and his recent performance in mind, here are three teams that could pick up Fredette.
New Orleans Pelicans
You may be thinking ‘Why would the Pelicans want to sign someone they dropped only a year ago?” And you’re right, the Pelicans should be hesitant in signing Fredette, but listen for a moment.
New Orleans could really use some shooting at the guard position. The combination of Jrue Holiday, E’Twaun Moore and Tim Frazier all shoot below 40% on limited attempts, with Moore’s 39% the only bright spot. It’s not a great strategy when your team’s biggest outside threats are the two starting big men.
Adding Fredette to come off the bench and provide a shooting boost to the second unit would force the opposing guards to pay a little more attention on the perimeter.
If the Pelicans are serious about this late playoff push after acquiring DeMarcus Cousins, it would be in their best interests to try and improve one of their biggest weaknesses sooner rather than later.
This is an interesting one. As of the start of March, the Wizards are 35-23, giving them third place in the East due to leading the Southeast division. However, they are only two games back from the second-place Celtics, and six games back from the Cavaliers, and many people think that the Wizards could put up a good fight in the playoffs if they meet Cleveland.
Currently, the Wizards have no serviceable backup guards for the duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal. Trey Burke is their best backup and is only averaging a meager 4.9 points and 1.8 assists in 12.4 minutes per game. Not something you want from your best bench guard when you could potentially be facing Cleveland’s bench of Deron Williams, Kyle Korver and Andrew Bogut.
So why not pick up Jimmer Fredette and slot him in as the backup SG behind Beal? There would be almost no dip in the 3-point shooting Beal gives to the Wizards when he’s on the court, and as Jimmer isn’t the best of defenders (Only 0.2 Defensive Win Shares for his entire career), he would be matched up against Korver, who very rarely penetrates off the dribble, something Fredette struggles to defend.
To add to this, the Washington Wizards rank 5th in 3-point percentage but rank all the way down at 24th for attempts and 21st in 3-point makes. Adding a sharpshooter of Fredette’s caliber would hopefully increase the attempts per game, while the accuracy remains the same.
If Washington want any hope of challenging Cleveland in the playoffs, wherever they may meet, they should really think about adding Fredette to their roster.
San Antonio Spurs
If in doubt, work out for the Spurs, that seems to be the general consensus around the NBA.
San Antonio can make an average player flourish in their system alone, all thanks to Coach Pop, and with the style of the ‘King Of Loneliness’, as he has been dubbed in China, Fredette’s game should fit right into Pop’s system that has made so many players realize their true potential. Just look at Johnathon Simmons, the proof is in the pudding.
There has been some history though between Jimmer and the Spurs. Back in 2015, Jimmer was signed to the Spurs in July and played for them during the pre-season. In his stint there, he was atrocious. He barely got any court time, and only scored 4 points in 2 games, shooting an ugly 20%, and was cut before the season began. Many speculated this was due to his over-inflated confidence, as he was never able to shake the image of himself from college at Brigham Young University, where he broke numerous school and conference records.
Either Jimmer has matured while over in China, realizing that he may need to take a back seat to succeed in the NBA, or, his confidence has skyrocketed due to his insane performances against sub-par competition.
Only time will tell if he does attempt a comeback to the NBA, and if the Spurs do give him a second chance and cut him again, we’ll all know that Jimmer Fredette was never meant for the NBA.