SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Jimmer Fredette could demand a trade at any time. But he has class, which men can’t buy.
No one would blame Fredette if he called his agent and wanted out after the Sacramento Kings declined his fourth-year option for 2014-15 on October 31. The 24-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, but he’s not overly concerned.
“Obviously this is a business, and (the Kings) made the best decision that they thought for their team,” explained Fredette at Monday shootaround. “So for me as a basketball player, I can’t worry about that. I have to continue to work hard. I know that (my) career is not over.”
Fredette remains an intriguing basketball prospect, but many questioned the skills he showcased at Brigham Young University smoothly translating to the NBA level. His playing time has declined from over 18 minutes-per-game as a rookie to 14 as a sophomore.
Fredette made his first appearance this regular season in the Kings’ third contest visiting the Golden State Warriors on November 3. The ball handler checked in with three minutes remaining in a blowout and shot 1-for-2 making a 20-foot jumper and missing a short floater. Fredette will take opportunities when he can.
“It’s tough as a competitor. You (want to) play all the time, and it’s tough to go in there with three minutes left, but you do what you’re asked, and you try to do the best you can with the time you have.”
Fredette’s role in Sacramento going forward is unclear. Head coach Mike Malone appears to trust Greivis Vasquez and Isaiah Thomas at the one and Marcus Thornton and Ben McLemore at the two. But with 79 games to go, backcourt rotations aren’t carved in stone.
“(Coach Malone) sees me as a combo guard, so you never know what’s going to happen. I’m not in the rotation right now, but if someone goes down or something happens where he wants to get me in the game, I’ll be prepared and ready to go. Ultimately it’s the coach’s decision so I just control things I can control.”
When Fredette gets on the court, he’s there to score. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder can absorb contact on drives and is a deadeye shooter. In 2012-13, Fredette hit 41.7 percent of his 3-point attempts, which ranked him 16th in the association. However his defense is viewed as a liability.
Fredette possesses the talent to form a successful niche in the NBA. Whether he finds this role with the Kings or another organization will be determined in the next few months.
Photo Credit: Brett Davis / USA TODAY Sports