Jimmer Fredette’s return to the NBA is already over as the New York Knicks have decided not to re-sign the guard at the conclusion of his 10-day contract. Failing to do much of anything in his second NBA stint this year, Fredette’s chances of ever becoming a mainstay on one of the league’s 30 teams are looking bleak.
The Knicks played five games during the span of Fredette’s contract, and he found his way onto the court just twice. The point guard played in the final two minutes of the Knicks’ Feb. 22 game against the Toronto Raptors, hitting a three-pointer and committing a turnover. He also played three minutes in the team’s 19-point loss against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, scoring four points on five free-throw attempts.
Fredette was barely given a chance to do anything with New York, playing just five total minutes in garbage time. He did, however, make the most of his time on the court, totaling seven points on just one field-goal attempt.
Jimmer will leave the Knicks with the highest effective FG% in franchise history. https://t.co/myKqSVVOEU
— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) March 2, 2016
Knicks fans wanted to see Fredette get a chance, chanting his name on the night he was called up from the NBA D-League’s Westchester Knicks. But Knicks head coach Kurt Rambis seemed to have little interest in seeing what Fredette could do, considering the former BYU star barely played for a team with one of the NBA’s worst backcourts. Sasha Vujacic played 30 total minutes during Fredette’s time in New York, and he’s shooting just 31.5 percent from the field.
“He didn’t do things that would’ve pushed somebody else out of the rotation,” Rambis said of Fredette, via Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler. “We didn’t have a great amount of time. It wasn’t like he was in training camp where he had time to show what he could do. We had players who had been here all year and they deserved those opportunities before he did.”
The Knicks could have signed Fredette to a second 10-day contract, before having to decide whether or not to keep him for the remainder of the season. He’s expected to rejoin the Westchester Knicks, with whom he was one of the D-League’s best players before making the leap to the NBA.
If Fredette continues to light it up in the D-League, he could get another shot in the NBA next year. In 30 games in Westchester, he averaged 21.8 points, 4.8 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game, hitting 40.5 percent of his three-point attempts. But despite being a standout in college and the NBA’s minor leagues, the former first-round pick has had a difficult time making an impact in the NBA.
Fredette played four games for the New Orleans Pelicans earlier this season before being released, scoring just two points in 12 minutes. He played in 50 games for the Pelicans last season, making just nine of his 48 three-point attempts.
Because of his ability to shoot three-pointers, last year’s numbers notwithstanding, Fredette might make an NBA roster next year. However, there are so many good shooters in today’s NBA that Fredette’s value may be diminishing.
While players like Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard and J.J. Redick make nearly half of their three-pointers, big men like Kevin Love and Draymond Green now hit shots from behind the arc with regularity. As a 6’2 combo guard, Fredette’s career mark of 38 percent from the three-point line may not be enough to earn himself a roster spot.