Few players felt the crunch of Keith Smart’s rotations more than that of Jimmer Fredette. From a handful of consecutive DNP’s to starting to more DNP’s, Fredette’s 2012-13 season could only be described as a yo-yo. Because of that, it was difficult to get much of a read on the former Cougar but we here at A Royal Pain did our best, which you’ll find below in our season review:
There were small improvements in Jimmer Fredette‘s game from his rookie to second year, but still, Jimmer’s sophomore campaign would have to be categorized as a disappointment. On the plus side, Fredette was a much more effective shooter, and that’s the one thing he has to provide to be of any use. Jimmer exhibited more confidence in his game and this translated into better results. Unfortunately, there were significant portions of the season in which you questioned whether Fredette belonged in the NBA. With the ball in his hands, Fredette was unable to get separation from defenders and frequently got caught in the air or in a crowd of defenders with nowhere to go. Defensively, Fredette was again a liability that opponents looked to take advantage of. For that reason, it was really hard to justify playing Fredette unless he was absolutely scorching with his shot. Now, there is a caveat. The argument could easily be made that Jimmer was never properly used. Fredette is a shooter, yet the Kings rarely set hard screens for him or made any attempt to free him up for open looks. Instead, Fredette was left to fend for himself, and he simply can’t create his own shot consistently at this stage in his career. A new coaching staff might do wonders for Fredette. Giving him easier defensive matchups and making him a priority on some offensive plays would be a great start. Nonetheless, it will be a crucial offseason for Fredette, who really needs to make strides in his overall game to earn a role with the Kings or any other team.
Despite being with the team for two seasons, Jimmer Fredette’s worth as a guard is still somewhat of a mystery. He appeared far more confident on the court this past season than he did in his rookie year. He is known primarily for his shooting skills from his college years where he was a scoring machine. That promise has yet to translate over into the NBA on any consistent basis. Last season he averaged .416 for his 3-point shooting percentage, but his defensive skills have lagged, keeping him from seeing more minutes. He continues to have a strong fan following, waiting to erupt when he drains a long ball. It is a lot of fun when that happens, as it can get the crowd going. Perhaps his best game last season was December 17, 2012 against Phoenix, where he played 23 minutes, scoring 22 points, including 3 out of 5 treys. A new head coach may view Fredette with fresh eyes and find ways to support his presence on the court. It remains to be seen whether he will have a long-term future in Sacramento.
Giving Jimmer Fredette much of a review for the 2012-13 season is difficult given what he dealt with from a playing time perspective. The floor time he did receive, I thought he played well, given my expectations of him. Maybe that says more of my expectations than it does of Fredette’s game, but I see a young player who is willing to learn and improve. Thankfully for Fredette, 2013-2014 should be a more productive year as head coach Keith Smart is not expected to be retained and his musical chair rotation wont continue to eat into Fredette’s floor time, assuming Fredette remains in Sacramento.
That said, I could see the former BYU product as a piece in an offseason trade as the new ownership attempts to rejuvenate the Kings’ roster, something that might be best for both parties. I still think Fredette has a role in the NBA and if he stays with the Kings, he’ll grow into it eventually, but I wouldn’t exactly be shocked if Fredette wasn’t a member of the Kings come the start of the 2013-14 season.
Either way, I wasn’t really disappointed or impressed with Fredette this past season – if anything, I was disappointed his minutes were yanked around so badly as I’d like to see what he could do with a stable rotation spot.