Jimmer Fredette, who lit up the 2011 NCAA Tournament with the BYU Cougars, might be traded from the Sacramento Kings with the upcoming NBA Draft set to get underway on Thursday. The latest rumor has Fredette leaving the Kings for the Indiana Pacers
ESPN’s Chad Ford posted on Twitter: “Pacers push to swap Gerald Green and No. 23 for Jimmer just got a little more realistic. Larry Bird loved Jimmer in 2011 Draft.”
Several reports have stated Bird will return as team president to the Pacers after taking the last year off to deal with health issues. A three-time champion as a player with the Boston Celtics, Bird was named the NBA Executive of the Year in 2012.
Fredette might be an ideal addition to the Pacers. The sharpshooter could serve as a catalyst for an Indiana squad that could use an infusion of shooting off the bench. As a team the Pacers shot 34.7 percent from three-point range in 2012-2013, good for No. 22 in the league, and failed in their attempts to land shooters during the trade deadline.
The Pacers own two picks in Thursday night’s draft, and clearly have enough interest in Fredette to not only offer up one of them, but also the hyper-athletic Green.
In the 2012-2013 season, Fredette received an inconsistent amount of playing time in a crowded backcourt. Then-head coach Keith Smart often favored players such as Tyreke Evans, Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton, Aaron Brooks, and even Toney Douglas, who arrived late in the season.
Often it seemed that Fredette was the odd man out despite his unique skill set. He shot a respectable 42.1 percent from the field – a solid statistic given his high volume of outside shots. Fredette was also among the best free-throw shooters at 86 percent.
The prospect of playing for a new team might be a great way for Fredette to make more of a name for himself after a stellar career at BYU. He averaged 28.9 points per game and won the Naismith College Player of the Year award in 2011. Should he play for Indiana, Fredette would be able to share time with just D.J. Augustin on the bench, and could perhaps play more of shooting guard role if head coach Frank Vogel decides to use a smaller backcourt.
Fredette also has the chance to play for a young team poised to make another long run in the playoffs. Led by emerging stars Paul George and Roy Hibbert, Indiana nearly toppled the eventual-champion Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals earlier this month.
Fredette averaged just 14 minutes per game in 2012-2013 after averaging 18.6 minutes in 2011-2012. He has a career scoring average of 7.4 points per game, and has a shot 38.4 percent from beyond the three-point arc.
Back in 2011 Fredette went No. 10 overall to Sacramento. Indiana picked Kawhi Leonard five spots later, but quickly jettisoned him to the San Antonio Spurs for guard George Hill.
The draft begins Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.