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NBA Chicago Bulls

5 Ways Jimmer Fredette Can Help Chicago Bulls

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Five Ways Jimmer Fredette Can Help The Bulls

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmermania has come to Chicago, Illinois. Jimmer Fredette, the former lottery pick by way of the Sacramento Kings, signed with the Chicago Bulls on March 1, 2014 after being bought out by the Kings. Fredette cleared waivers after being bought out, and the Bulls showed significant interest in the former standout from BYU.

Fredette was one of the highlights of the NCAA tournament during his senior year at BYU. Fredette averaged 28.5 PPG as he led the Cougars to the Sweet 16. He was named the Associated Press' player of the year and ended up being the 10th pick in the 2011 draft. However, the instability in Sacramento with potentially moving as well as the head coaching situation contributed to Fredette’s struggles with the Kings. The Kings seemed to agree that a split would be more amicable, as they decided not to pick up Fredette’s option for 2014-15 before this season.

Now, Fredette joins a team in Chicago that is poised to make another run in the playoffs. Despite losing former MVP Derrick Rose and trading former All-Star Luol Deng, the Bulls find themselves a half game back of the Toronto Raptors for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls have rallied around All Star center Joakim Noah, and Tom Thibodeau has remade D.J. Augustin into a serviceable player in the league. The Bulls are currently one of five Eastern Conference teams with a better than .500 record. However, the Bulls are currently last in scoring and realized they needed some additional firepower if they had any hope of dethroning the defending NBA champion Miami Heat or the Indiana Pacers, the team with currently the best conference record, Here are five ways Fredette can help the Bulls.

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5. Jimmer Fredette is excellent in the open court

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Fredette has always been more quick than fast, and he’s able to use his quick first step to get to the basket. However, it’s on the open floor where you really get to see Fredette’s speed. With Augustin and Noah leading fast breaks, Fredette becomes another weapon that can run with both of them. Jimmer’s ability to finish in transition will also help the Bulls.

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4. Jimmer Fredette gives the Chicago Bulls another shooter around Derrick Rose

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Bulls have had great success when they've placed shooters around the former MVP and allowed him to create for them. Because this is essentially an audition for Fredette to have a place on the Bulls next year, he will be motivated to show them that he can play within this offensive system. If he earns a contract from the Bulls, then he is an excellent option to play alongside Rose.

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3. Jimmer Fredette won’t be a defensive liability under Tom Thibodeau

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sport

Jimmer has struggled, to put it mildly, defending in this league since he was drafted. However, Jimmer now plays for a coach that won’t tolerate struggles defensively. Thibodeau was able to turn Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli into more than adequate defenders in Chicago, and he’ll do the same to Fredette. Plus, Fredette isn't a terrible help defender and appears willing to improve defensively.

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2. Jimmer Fredette excels in the pick-and-roll

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of Fredette’s mid range jump shots come from pick-and-roll plays that he’d run with DeMarcus Cousins. Now, he’s running them with Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, who are better than Cousins at setting screens and rolling to the basket for easy looks. Because Fredette is a better shooter than Noah and Boozer have had this year, teams will hesitate to trap them when they roll to the basket. This will lead to more favorable matchups for the Bulls’ bigs.

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1. Jimmer Fredette is already the best 3-point shooter the Bulls have

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Fredette is shooting 49 percent from three this year, which puts him no. 1 on the Bulls. The Bulls have not changed their offense since Rose went down, as it’s Augustin who penetrates and tries to kick the ball out to the shooters around him. Now, there’s actually a shooter around him. Fredette is a career 41 percent shooter from downtown, and will benefit from the double-teams Noah has begun to see since Deng was traded.