Midway through his second season with the Sacramento Kings, Jimmer Fredette hasn’t had the success that many expected.
The BYU graduate was taken with the 10th overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft. He entered the league after averaging 28.9 points per game in his senior season.
Despite his collegiate numbers and the fact that Sacramento spent a lottery pick on him, Fredette hasn’t been given much playing time with the Kings. Last season, he averaged 18.6 minutes per game, and this season it’s dipped to 14.3 minutes.
Recently, the guard has been an afterthought on the bench. In a three-game stretch from Jan.19 to Jan.23, he was on the court for just four total minutes.
The biggest reason for Fredette’s lack of playing time is the construction of the Kings roster. Sacramento has a very crowded backcourt, with five guards who get more playing time then Fredette. The unbalanced nature of the team has contributed to their poor record, as Sacramento is 13 games under .500.
The second-year guard hasn’t had many breakout performances, but he has shown enough to warrant some more playing time. He sports an unimpressive 7.5 points per game, but he ranks 25th among NBA players in adjusted scoring average. His 25.4 points per 48 minutes is better than the likes of Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer and Monta Ellis.
If Fredette is just wasting away on the Kings bench, could they try to deal him by the Feb.21 trade deadline?
So far, Fredette has not be the subject of trade rumors, unlike teammate DeMarcus Cousins. Some playoff-bound teams may inquire about Fredette to strengthen their bench and to strengthen their perimeter presence. A package involving Cousins is another possibility, though the Kings have publicly stated that they have no desire to deal the contentious big man.
Even though Fredette doesn’t get much time on the court, he’d still have some value on the open market. The 23-year-old hasn’t been given much of a chance to contribute, and could help a team that need of three-point shooting. In his limited minutes, Fredette has proven he can shoot, completing over 42 percent of his three-point shot attempts.
Sacramento took Fredette in the lottery less than two years ago, and they wouldn’t be able to acquire a player with the value of a top 10 pick. However, trading Fredette could net them a solid defender, or even a complimentary big man. The Kings desperately need help on defense, allowing 103.1 points per contest.
Between Tryeke Evans, Marcus Thornton, Isaiah Thomas, Aaron Brooks and Francisco Garcia, the Kings have plenty of guards that can contribute. Instead of letting one of the best shooters in the league sit on the bench, they might be better off trading him to a team on which he can make an impact.