Over the last few months Sacramento Kings point guard Jimmer Fredette has put his skills on full display, and should the very active club’s front office pull the trigger on a trade the 24-year-old could help any number of contenders.
In an interview with the Sacramento Bee last month, the former BYU star discussed his lack of playing time early in the season and how his new role as back-up point guard under head coach Mike Malone has helped his overall production.
“When you have a role, you feel more comfortable, (and) get more comfortable as the season goes on,” Fredette said to The Bee. “You know what you’re supposed to do when you get out there, so that helps a lot.”
Playing in all 16 of Sacramento’s games in January, Fredette shined by knocking down 47 percent of his total field goal attempts, and also shot 47 percent from three-point range. He averaged 6.9 points in 12.4 minutes per game, and scored in double-digits in four games.
Several factors have contributed to the constant rumors that the Kings could move Fredette before the Feb. 20 trade deadline.
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There’s Fredette’s expiring $2.5 million contract after the Kings informed him before the season began that they wouldn't be picking up his option. However at such a low pay grade, it’s more likely Fredette will be one of several pieces in a larger package deal.
Fredette’s dead eye from deep range is also a special skill that makes him very attractive to playoff teams hoping to fill out their benches. Sharpshooting is also an easier way for players to extend their tenure in the NBA, like former players Danny Ferry, Sam Perkins, and Brent Barry.
Probably the biggest factor is Sacramento’s high-level of trade activity this season and last summer. First-year general manager Pete D’Alessandro was specifically hoping to acquire veterans to tutor the Kings talented but green roster. He did so in a seven-player trade with Toronto that sent swingman Rudy Gay out West. There were also the moves last summer that shipped Tyreke Evans to New Orleans, and Luc Mbah a Moute to Minnesota for Derrick Williams.
Over the past two months the Kings have been linked to trades with Denver for veteran point guard Andre Miller; a deal that reportedly would’ve sent Fredette and combo-guard Marcus Thornton to the Nuggets.
It’s also been reported that D’Alessandro’s long term plans center around acquiring Golden State Warriors shooter and would-be restricted free agent Klay Thompson, according to CBS Sports last month.
Denver would be an excellent place for Fredette. The Nuggets just lost scoring guard Nate Robinson to a season-ending torn ACL, and Fredette could slide right into an offense that shoots 22.7 three-pointers per game, the 10th highest number in the NBA.
The Charlotte Bobcats and Chicago Bulls are two clubs who could certainly use a solid deep threat and have reportedly been active in trade discussions. If the playoffs started today, both would be in as No. 8 and No. 6 seeds, respectively, but they are in dire need of more offense. Chicago is last in the NBA with 92.1 points per game, and Charlotte is 28 th overall with 94.3.
Chicago could essentially rent Fredette for its playoff push, and wipe his contract away this summer to prepare for free agency.