#NBA’s The Return of the Jimmer

jimmer fredette bulls

As a BYU alum, I’m always proud to rep’ my alma mater, especially when it comes to the iconic Jimmer Fredette. Yes, he’s been out of BYU since 2011 and has been on bench duty for most of his career with the Sacramento Kings (who switched coaches and ownership since he was drafted). I don’t know why he was in the doghouse but with the Kings, anything is possible.

But before I go into the details of his young career, I highly recommend a good read from a Kings blogger who reflects on Jimmer’s short stay in Sac-Town. Best quote?

Jimmer was a class act throughout his time in Sacramento, never complaining and never giving up.  As his time in Sacramento comes to a close, I can’t help but feel happy for him that he now gets to go to a team of his choosing, one where his abilities can be used more effectively.

Now, let’s go through a quick timeline of his NBA career:

2011-2012- Picked no.10 in the draft by the Sacramento, who swapped draft picks with Milwaukee to get to that spot. But, technically, he was drafted by the Bucks before being traded for a bevy of players. Check out this graphic, via SB Nation’s Tom Miller:

jimmer trade

  • Jimmer was picked behind the likes of Kyrie Irving (no.1), Derrick Williams (no.2) and Enes Kanter (no.3), but ahead of Klay Thompson (no.11) and Kawhi Leonard (no.15). To see that 2011 NBA Draft, click here.
  • If you want to see some cool insights about his draft stock, click here for quotes from BYU coach “Gary” Rose, Dwayne Wade and even Doc Rivers.
  • Jimmer’s no.7 jersey led to a 540% spike in Kings merchandise sales from the previous year.

2012-2013- He played well, but amidst another losing season at 28-54 (via Basketball Reference) and therefore second-to-last in the Pacific Division, Jimmer spent another offseason working out and probably wondering where the Kings franchise was headed.

ben mclemore

2013-2014- The Kings pick Ben McLemore from Kansas (who I consider a glorified DeMar DeRozan) as the no.7 overall pick and renders Jimmer obsolete, somehow.

  • And, Jimmer’s $3.1 million option wasn’t picked up from his rookie deal, meaning that he would most likely be traded or bought out by the end of the 2013-2014 season.

2014- Per ESPN.com, Jimmer played 11.1 minutes per game and still shot 49% from 3 point range and 47% from the floor with the Kings, including a jaw-dropping performance against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden:

  • He dropped 24 points in 27 minutes, including a great 6 for 8 from 3 point range at the Garden.
  • Knicks coach Mike Woodson’s struggle face is real:

mike woodson knicks face

  • On February 27, Jimmer and the Kings agreed to a buyout and Jimmer signed with Chicago on March 2, 2014.

His career stats in the regular season (via ESPN.com):

SEASON

MIN

FG%

3P%

FT%

REB

AST

TO

PTS

’11-’12

18.6

.386

.361

.833

1.2

1.8

1.1

7.6

’12-’13

14.0

.421

.417

.859

1.0

1.3

1.0

7.2

’13-’14

3.0

.500

.000

.000

2.0

0.0

0.0

2.0

’13-’14

11.3

.475

.493

.895

1.1

1.5

1.1

5.9

Here’s how he fared in the postseason…aren’t you glad he’s not in Sacramento anymore? (hint: says ‘no stats available’)

jimmer postseason kings

Career earnings (per season, via Basketball Reference):

  • 2011-12: $2,238,360
  • 2012-13: $2,406,240
  • 2013-14 (not including buyout terms): $2,439,840
  • Total (so far): $7,084,440

Jimmer still has range and still has defensive problems. But no one ever thought Steve Kerr or Robert “Big Shot Rob” Horry were great defenders and 3 point specialists either. They were good at their job, which was hitting timely 3 pointers to help their team.

Steve Kerr on the Bulls in Game 6 of the 1997 Finals vs the Jazz:

Big Shot Rob on the Spurs against the Pistons:

That will be Jimmer’s job: hit the open looks from long range, alleviate the 3 point pressure on Mike Dunleavy and help space the floor better for the Bulls.

The Chicago Bulls need some one to help space the floor. So far, they only shoot 34.4% from 3 on the season and their best 3 point shooters are D.J. Augustin at 42% and Mike Dunleavy at 38%. I am not impressed by their offensive playbook, but that is due to the injury of superstar Derrick Rose and their offensively-limited personnel (see roster here). Outside of Augustin, Dunleavy and Boozer, who else can score? Jimmy Butler? Nah.

Their bread-and-butter is their defense. Coach Tom Thibodeau’s defense will help mask Jimmer’s defensive lapses and limitations. Here’s what fellow Bulls player Taj Gibson said about Jimmer (via ESPN.com):

“I’ve seen that he’s got talent,” Gibson said. “It’s just that the team that he was on he never really got a chance to do much because they’ve got the characters on that team where they don’t seem too serious, you know what I’m saying? Playing on strict, good teams kind of brings the best out of a player.”

The legend of the Jimmer still lives on after several years and kudos to him. Best of luck in the Windy City!

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About Spencer Irvine

Fun loving, D.C. area sports fan, which means I'm frustrated and still can't get a grip on what a win truly means (or a championship for that matter).

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