The Sacramento Kings drafted Jimmer Fredette in the first round with an eye towards the future.
The sharpshooter had shown the ability to take over a game at BYU with his hard-nosed play, and the Kings were in desperate need for some added energy.
While Fredette has recently seen a dropoff in playing time, the Kings have seen a dropoff in victories. The King have lost 11 of their last 14 games, and in that span Fredette didn't take 10 or more shots.
All that may change very soon. Head coach Keith Smart knows the club is basically mathematically out of the playoff picture, so there will me more emphasis on putting together the right pieces for the Kings to make improvements on next season.
Trade winds are also still blowing, and the Kings are overloaded at shooting guard. It's possible the Kings will pull a deal at the Mar. 15 trade deadline, and the chances are slim that Fredette will be dealt.
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(There is talk about the Kings adding Jamaal Crawford, but he is also a shooting guard, and the Kings don't need another one.)
Fredette is not paid much, which is important for the cash-strapped Kings. Sacramento desperately need frontcourt help as DeMarcus Cousins' attitude and work ethic has routinely been questioned. The young power forward has made some strides recently, but he also needs additional help in the low post.
It's possible that Fredette will see more time as the Kings look to upgrade the center and power forward positions by perhaps dealing one of their starting guards.
Should the Kings not make a move, Fredette will still likely see more playing time. This season, Fredette has averaged nearly eight points a game, but is shooting just 38.5 percent from the field. There will be little to lose and a lot to gain by playing a young, streaky shooter when Sacramento is more than 10 games out of the the eight playoff seed in the West.
It's been up and down ... up and down, Fredette said, when asked about his first season. I've had some really good nights and some not-so-good nights.
Starting guard Marcus Thornton is having an exceptional season, which has prompted Smart to hold off on Fredette's development and give Thornton plenty of minutes each game. Point guards Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas have also been getting considerable playing time, and the Kings also have a veteran shooting guard in John Salmons.
The Kings will eventually have to make a decision on these guards, and will likely include ones they believe have the best chance of netting them a big man while not hurting their payroll.
There should be a clearer picture of Fredette's playing-time status after the trade deadline, but fans of the burgeoning rookie can expect more positives to come.