On Thursday night, the NBA welcomed a new batch of young talent to the league during the 2014 NBA Draft, and it was only three years ago that Jimmer Fredette was taken 10th overall and eventually landed with the Sacramento Kings.
Over those three short, blink-of-an-eye years, Fredette has seen his NBA career dwindle from promising prospect to a bench role to a free agent with limited options. But a top European team has shown interest in the sharpshooter, and continuing his professional career overseas could lead to another shot in the NBA for Fredette.
Panathinaikos did not get any answer from Nick Calathes and is now targeting Jimmer Fredette, according to @sport24
â€” Sportando (@sportando) June 20, 2014
Panathinaikos claimed both the Greek Championship and Greek Cup the last two seasons, and the squad nicknamed the Greens has welcomed NBA talent into the fold before. As early as 2012, former Miami Heat and Los Angeles Laker swingman Jason Kapono switched to the Athens side, and so did former Boston and Phoenix guard Marcus Banks. Going further back, the NBA’s 12th all-time leading scorer Dominique Wilkins finished up his career with Panathinaikos and so did former Laker-great Byron Scott before he transitioned to coaching.
It’s fair to point out all four players wound up in Greece in the twilight of their careers, and the 25-year-old Fredette has made little impact in the NBA as of yet. Still, experience against solid talent and stronger defensive prowess are what Fredette needs and he could play more consistent minutes for a high-scoring, winning club and improve the defensive skills that have limited his court time in the NBA.
But it appears Fredette still believes he can latch on to NBA squad rather than go overseas. According to EuroHoops, Fredette is not expected to sign with Panathinaikos and instead went back to his hometown of Glen Falls, New York to host his annual 3-on-3 tournament appropriately titled “Jimmerosity.”
Following his month and half-long stay with the Chicago Bulls, during which he averaged 4.0 points and 1.5 assists while shooting 36.4 percent from three-point range in eight games, Fredette will hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
With the three-point shot more important in today’s game than ever before and few quality shooting guards in this year's free-agent class, Fredette could join a number of clubs. Among the young, offensive specialists available this summer, Fredette’s skills and perhaps untapped potential may fall somewhere in between Jodie Meeks and Alan Anderson.
The rebuilding Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics were 29th and 27th in three-point shooting percentage last year, respectively, and Fredette’s career 40 percent mark from deep should be enough to entice a one or two-year deal from either club.