The Sacramento Kings are once again in a tight spot this NBA season. This is a time when you didn’t care quite as much about the consequences of the changing lineups because the team is quickly sinking further and further below .500. This is precisely when you give one of the best shooters in the NBA, who’s been patiently waiting on the Kings’ bench, an honest chance to shine.
Jimmer Fredette is basically J.J. Redick with better ball-handling skills and court vision. Although not freakishly athletic, Jimmer is a player whose sound fundamentals and high IQ allow him to compete with any guard in the NBA. With the Kings already splitting playing time at the point guard position between Greivis Vasquez and Isaiah Thomas, Jimmer’s talents have been seemingly ignored.
Former Brigham Young University standout is not a lockdown defender, but has played smart defense in his limited NBA minutes. If the Kings were to put an athletic shooting guard such as Ben Mclemore beside Fredette, then you would have a phenomenal drive/kick backcourt duo.
Defensively, there would be problems and breakdowns, but aren’t there already? These are the chances that head coach Mike Malone must be willing to make. Also, athletic young big man Derrick Williams was recently acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Favors is a strong inside presence (although his 0 rebounds in Tuesday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder is cause for concern), and paired with Cousins could suck defenses in and provide ample space for shooters.
Jason Thompson has had more than enough time to show the Kings’ management he is worth keeping. Since Thompson is clearly not, they should put him on the trading block with Favors down low. Having anchor DeMarcus Cousins and Favors down low would provide a talented, strong and energetic young frontcourt for the Kings.
If they space the floor with shooters like Fredette, Mclemore and Marcus Thornton, there would be plenty of good looks at 3-point shots as well as drive-and-kick opportunities. Eventually, the Kings will have to make some trades and decide how to best build around Cousins. Fredette is one player who should stay on board, just as Redick did with the Orlando Magic and a young Dwight Howard, flourishing as a spot-up shooter/benefactor of a team with a dominant center.