A little over five years have passed since the Milwaukee Bucks selected Jimmer Fredette with No. 10 overall pick in the NBA draft. Since then, the sharpshooter has appeared in 235 professional games with four NBA teams, failing to catch on as a full-time starter or a significant role player after a promising college career at Brigham Young.
After sparse playing time in 2015-16, the 27-year-old may have played his last game in the NBA. According to a source, Fredette is opting to play in China for the Yao Ming-owned Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association.
Source: Jimmer Fredette, former #10 overall NBA draftee, agreed to sign in China with Yao Ming owned Shanghai Sharks.
— David Pick (@IAmDPick) August 2, 2016
The Sharks play in a 5,000-seat arena and have two other Americans on their roster. The club recently added Guerschon Yabusele, a 20-year-old French forward whom the Boston Celtics selected with the No. 16 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
Fredette had a brief stint at the San Antonio Spurs’ training camp and four games with the New Orleans Pelicans, and the native of Glen Falls, New York, wound up on the Westchester Knicks of the NBA Developmental League.
For a while it seemed Fredette could either make the New York Knicks roster or at least garner offers from other NBA teams. He had lit up the D-League for 21 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 5.0 assists over 35.8 minutes a game, while also shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from beyond the arc.
But his work in the D-League couldn’t afford him more than two games and five combined minutes with the Knicks and he moved on to the Denver Nuggets summer league team in Las Vegas. Fredette put up 15.2 points and 3.2 assists over five games but his shooting slipped to 39.7 percent against much younger and less experienced players.
Many might see Fredette’s pending jaunt to China as the end of the road, but some NBA players have rejuvenated their careers in the CBA and after the NBA's lockout in 2011. Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith spent a season in China before returning to the NBA. Houston Rockets small forward Michael Beasley had two stints with China, while Indiana Pacers point guard Aaron Brooks led his club to the CBA Finals before making his NBA return.
The CBA has become a much more competitive league in recent years. The Sharks are routinely among the league's top teams and Fredette is expected to receive consistent playing time.