Let’s be clear, short of some apparently false Thunder rumors regarding Jimmer Fredette early in the off-season, there really isn’t actual buzz about the second-year Sacramento Kings guard. But that doesn’t mean Jimmer Fredette trade rumors shouldn’t be heating up.
Fredette dropped a career-high 22 points in 25 minutes in his last game, and at one point in the 2012-13 NBA season was the most efficient player per 36 minutes. He’s being flat-out abused in Sacramento, as head coach Keith Smart has been going with an insane three point guard rotation. If we’re just being logical, Aaron Brooks never should have been signed, Isaiah Thomas would be playing 30+ minutes a night, and Fredette would be learning behind him or as a combo guard with 15-20 minutes per night. Instead, the sharp-shooter’s confidence has to be weakening after inconsistent minutes and several DNP calls over the course of his young career.
But that has to stop eventually, right? That’s doubtful if he remains with the Kings, as they’re run by money-hungry owners and a coach that wouldn’t even play Jeremy Lin when he was in Golden State. I think (and hope) Fredette’s time with the Kings is coming to an end, and think there are quite a few places he could go where he’d at least be used in a scoring role off the bench consistently, if not much more.
Here are the top five teams I think could be interested in trading for Fredette:
Oklahoma City Thunder
Hey, there were mixed up with Fredette trade rumors before, so why not get them involved again? They need him less now that they got rid of James Harden and found a suitable replacement in Kevin Martin, but they could still use his scoring punch behind Russell Westbrook.
Sounds crazy, right? I know, considering all the big moves Houston has made, you’d think a trade for Fredette wouldn’t make a lot of sense – which is why it might make perfect sense. The Jeremy Lin experiment hasn’t exactly passed with flying colors so far this year, while Lin has little to no help behind him on the bench. Fredette could provide some instant offense behind Lin, as well as behind Harden at the two spot.
Los Angeles Lakers
This might be my favorite choice. It’s tough to see the Kings dealing with one of their bitter rivals, but the Lakers are hurting at point guard sans Steve Nash, and Fredette could do wonders in a Mike D’Antoni system. He could learn behind one of the game’s best in Nash, while offering instant offense off the bench.
Fredette goes home in this trade idea. Mo Williams has been very solid for the Jazz, but they’re not an elite team and they could always use help on offense. It’s a pure marketing move, but Fredette isn’t without talent and you know the fans would love to have him.
Logically, Fredette probably won’t be traded. He’ll likely ride out the final year of his rookie deal and spend the rest of his basketball days in Europe. But that’s not how it should be. Yes, Fredette has issues on defense and he’s not a great point guard as he stands. But he also can’t help any of that when he’s averaging inconsistent minutes and doesn’t have a firm backing from his coach or his teammates. He’s in an awful situation with several me-first players, and yet he doesn’t get consistent playing time for a team that is well below .500 ball.
In reality, the number 10 overall pick from the 2011 NBA Draft should have been starting from day one on a horrible team, and allowed to grow into the player I still think he can become. Instead, the Kings never gave him a chance and played the final pick of that year’s draft (Thomas) ahead of him, instead. Other point guards like Kemba Walker and Brandon Knight struggled as rookies, but were backed firmly and now are doing much better in year two. If Fredette was on the court consistently and didn’t have to be worried about going back to the bench every time he made a mistake, that could be him, too.
Instead, we have to hope Fredette gets placed in a better environment via a trade this year.