Earlier this week, the future of Jimmer Fredette in Sacramento became more clear with the Kings declining to pick up his 4th year option, making him an unrestricted free agent next summer. There is no reason to wonder whether or not he’ll be in a Kings uniform next season after this week. It’s clear that he will be out of Sacramento, and all that remains to be seen is whether or not his departure from Sacramento will occur before the trade deadline or during the summer of 2014.
While being a national sensation in college at Brigham Young University, Jimmer Fredette has not been close to making the same type of impact in the NBA. The reason for his lack of production in the NBA is hard to pinpoint, especially since he was drafted so high (#10 overall) in the 2011 NBA draft. Some think his lack of production is due to him not getting a fair shake in Sacramento, and others think it has more to do with the fact that he isn’t nearly as good as everybody thought he would be. I personally think it’s a combination of the two. I think it’s true that the expectations for him after his phenomenal senior season at BYU were way too high, and that it is no surprise that he has fallen back to earth to a certain extent. On the other hand, I also think that the Kings are an incredibly dysfunctional team who instead of trying to help him develop decided to bury him on their bench for no apparent reason. I am of the persuasion that he still has a lot to offer other NBA teams due to his shooting abilities (38.4% from 3-point range during his career) and that he needs a fresh start elsewhere.
Where that fresh start will come isn’t exactly clear, but it has been reported that 6 teams are interested in trading for Jimmer, indicating that his stock hasn’t totally plummeted. I personally think he would a be a good fit somewhere like Oklahoma City or Chicago where he could come off the bench and contribute without having the pressures of being the franchise player. Plus, teams like that could always use another shooter to come off the bench and spark the offense, which is his forte and primary skill.
The bottom line for Jimmer Fredette is that his career isn’t over, but it is temporarily being paused while he is in Sacramento. It is clear that the Kings have given up on him and that they have put their faith in Isaiah Thomas to be their point guard for the future. That is why I will be very surprised if they hang on to him past the trade deadline. It is obvious that he won’t re-sign with them and it’s also obvious that other teams are still interested in his services. The Kings would be foolish to not trade him unless they want to torture him for the upcoming season and also walk away with absolutely nothing after spending a top 10 draft pick to get him. If they go that route then the 2011 NBA draft will truly be a wasted draft for them. Especially since Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Norris Cole, Klay Thompson, Alec Burks, Kenneth Faried, and Iman Shumpert were still on the board.
—Ben Parker: follow me on twitter @nba_lord