Jimmer Fredette was one of four players waived by the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, ending the former first-round pick’s brief stint with the fourth team of his four-year NBA career.
Over the last year and a half, Fredette was waived by the Sacramento Kings and signed with the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans, and then the Spurs. After spending the bulk of his career with the Kings, only the Pelicans afforded him consistent playing time last season. Fredette averaged 3.6 points and 1.2 assists over 10.2 minutes in 50 games.
The Spurs offered the 26-year-old the chance to join one of the NBA’s most successful clubs under longtime head coach Gregg Popovich, who’s made a career of squeezing every bit of talent out of his players and surrounding power forward Tim Duncan with reliable shooters.
However, Fredette scored only four points in 26 total minutes over two preseason games with San Antonio and failed to hit a three-pointer. While his outside shot affords him plenty of looks from NBA teams, Fredette has also been viewed as a defensive liability since he first entered the league as the 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Milwaukee Bucks.
During his time with New Orleans, Fredette had trouble guarding faster backup guards.
"His foot speed at that position isn't on par with those guys. That's a big deal," an NBA assistant said to Yahoo Sports. "I think the big thing for Jimmer is not offensively but defensively."
Though he hit only 18.8 percent of his three-point attempts with the Pelicans last season, Fredette still owns a 38.1 success rate from beyond the arc and given his age he could continue to trek around the league as a hired gun.
Four teams (Boston, Denver, Philadelphia, and Charlotte) averaged worse than 33 percent from three last season and all are in the middle of a rebuilding process, potentially serving as the next opportunity for Fredette.
"There are times when you're like, 'Dang, man, this is not the way that I pictured it as a kid or growing up.' But I think that's all a part of the growing process as a pro," Fredette said to ESPN earlier this month.
"It's not necessarily that you're not good enough to be out there, you know what I mean? Sometimes, there are other circumstances. So you've just got to stay mentally prepared, know that you can play, and when you get out there be able to compete."