Jimmer Fredette’s time with the Sacramento Kings is coming to an end. The two sides are finalizing an agreement on a buyout for the guard’s contract, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Fredette’s days with the Kings have been numbered since the beginning of the 2013-2014 season, when the organization decided not to exercise his option for next year.
The BYU grad has been at the center of trade rumors for much of the season, and Sacramento tried to deal him at the deadline, but to no avail. Fredette began the year with a one-year contract worth $2.4 million.
In three seasons with Sacramento, Fredette has struggled at times and was never given much of a chance to succeed. As a rookie, Fredette played 18.6 minutes per game, starting seven times. Since then, his playing time has gradually decreased, down to 11.3 minutes per game this year.
Even though his time on the court has been limited, Fredette has shown improvement. His field goal, three-point and free-throw percentages have increased in every season. If he qualified to be counted among the leaders, Fredette’s 49.3 percentage from behind the arc would rank No.1 in the NBA.
He may have been an afterthought on one of the worst teams in the league, but Fredette is expected to draw interest from several teams, according to Wojnarowski’s report. The 25-year-old will become a free agent, if he clears waivers.
According to Wojnarowski, the Denver Nuggets inquired about Fredette before the trade deadline. The team was working on a deal that would’ve sent them the guard. Instead of acquiring the sharpshooter, the Nuggets traded Jordan Hamilton for point guard Aaron Brooks, who actually played with Sacramento in the 2012-2013 season.
The most likely scenario might have Fredette joining the Los Angeles Lakers. The former first-round draft pick didn’t have a place in Sacramento, but he would fit perfectly in head coach Mike D’Antoni’s system in Los Angeles. Fredette is an elite shooter, and his skills would be highlighted under the offensive-minded coach. Much like Jeremy Lin thrived under D’Antoni with the New York Knicks, Fredette could live up his potential with the Lakers.
Signing Fredette makes sense for Los Angeles, considering how poorly their season has gone. They are the only team in the Western Conference with a worse record than the Kings, and the move wouldn’t affect their salary cap in the summer. Kobe Bryant won’t return for a few more weeks, at the earliest, and the Lakers have had a makeshift backcourt all season long.
The Knicks would also be a good fit for Fredette. After buying out an unhappy Beno Udrih and learning of Raymond Felton’s arrest, New York is in desperate need of help at point guard. Fredette might prefer to play with the Knicks over the Lakers, considering the Knicks still have a chance to make the playoffs.
Fredette was taken No.10 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. He was sent to the Kings in a three-team deal on draft day.