Jimmer Fredette seemed to be the piece that could take the Chicago Bulls to another level leading up to the 2014 NBA Playoffs. After the Sacramento Kings were unable to deal the young guard at the Trade Deadline, the team agreed to terms for a buyout of his contract which then allowed Chicago to sign him as a free-agent.
Many people hear Jimmer Fredette’s name and think of another prolific college player that didn’t have the tools to hack it in the NBA and was more or less a product of his system while at college. While he hasn’t had much success in his first 2.5 years in the league, that’s not totally the case with Fredette.
The biggest issue Jimmer faced with the Kings was lack of opportunity. A crowded backcourt, dysfunction within the franchise, and many other things resulted in Fredette never really getting the chance to develop at the NBA level. Subsequently, that label as a bust of sorts was placed on him.
Even with his lack of time on the floor in Sacramento, though, Fredette’s one elite ability has never left him: Jimmer can shoot the rock. His ability to fill it up from long-range was one of the big reasons why him coming to Chicago was so exciting. The Bulls were a team in need of another shooter that could give them flurries of offense from the perimeter, a role seemingly suited for a player of Fredette’s talents.
However, the Bulls are falling into the same pattern as the Kings did in regards to Fredette to start his tenure there. Fredette has been active for six games, but has played in just three and has logged a total of only 14 minutes. That’s hardly a role that he can help this team in and that he can redeem himself in.
Perhaps I just have a soft spot for guys who can pull up and knock shots down from anywhere on the floor, but I still believe in Fredette’s talent. Yes, he has his shortcomings. However, the best remedy for shortcomings is giving young players experience so they can figure out how to adjust and become more sound in their areas of weakness.
It’s possible that it’s just a familiarity thing with the Bulls and Fredette right now, but it’d be foolish of them not to give Jimmer more than just garbage minutes at the end of games over the last five weeks of the season. If they give him a larger role and he doesn’t succeed, this team is still headed for the postseason. However, if he comes in and performs well, this is a Bulls team that becomes an even bigger threat to the titans of the East.