Jimmer Fredette had, by far, the worst season of his NBA career last year, splitting time between the Sacramento Kings and Chicago Bulls and struggling to get playing time. After signing with the New Orleans Pelicans this offseason, the guard is looking forward to a fresh start.
''I'm treating this as a new beginning,'' Fredette said, via the Times-Picayune. ''One thing that's great about it is that New Orleans wanted me to be here. So it feels good to be wanted and be on a team that thinks you can help them out. I'm excited to be in that position. It gives you new life and new energy coming into camp and I hope to bring that for the rest of the year.''
Fredette hopes to re-energize his career with the Pelicans, having agreed to a one-year contract worth $948,163. It’s a far cry from the contract that he signed as a rookie, which paid him nearly $8 million over three years. While he’s accepted a pay cut, Fredette could have a greater impact in New Orleans than he did at either of his other two stops.
Despite being one of the best players in college basketball as a senior, Fredette never got much playing time with the Kings. The 10th overall draft pick averaged 18.6 minutes per games as a rookie and just 14 minutes per contest in his second season. In 41 games with Sacramento last season, the team found so little use for him that they bought the guard out of his contract before the trade deadline.
With the Bulls, Fredette was barely a factor. Though he signed with Chicago for the final 24 games of the season, he only made his way onto the court in eight different contests. He sat on the bench for Chicago’s entire five-game playoff series.
The Pelicans hope that Fredette can offer them a legitimate shooting threat. Even though he wasn’t given much of an opportunity in his three years, Fredette improved each season. As a rookie, he averaged 7.6 points per game on 38.6 percent field-goal shooting. His shooting percentage rose to 41.7 percent and 47.6 percent in the next two seasons. He made the most of his opportunities, scoring 17 points the only time he played more than 30 minutes in 2014.
As a backup guard with the Pelicans, Fredette should get more of an opportunity to prove himself. Behind starters Jrue Holliday and Eric Gordon, the team has rookie Russ Smith and Austin Rivers, who has been one of the NBA’s worst guards in his two seasons. With three-point threat Anthony Morrow going to the Oklahoma City Thunder, New Orleans needs Fredette to contribute.
In three seasons, Fredette is averaging 6.9 points in 14.6 minutes per game.