With all of the talk about signing New York Knicks free agent Carmelo Anthony, the discussion about which players the Chicago Bulls should retain has gotten overlooked. And ironically enough, no Bulls player was overlooked more during the regular season than Jimmer Fredette.
Fredette never really got a chance to showcase his talent in Chicago under head coach Tom Thibodeau. After signing with the Bulls in early March, Fredette only appeared in seven of the team’s final 24 games. Even worse, he didn’t play a single second in the first round of the playoffs against the Washington Wizards. The Bulls lost in five games, struggled to score, and only averaged 90 points during the series.
A dynamic scorer since his time at BYU, Fredette is a solid catch-and-shoot player who can create his own shot, and he is a decent playmaker in the open court. These are all skills that could have helped the Bulls in the postseason; but better yet, Fredette’s skills could be perfect alongside point guard Derrick Rose in the upcoming 2014-15 season. Bulls management has always tried to surround Rose with shooters to help space the floor when he’s attacking the basket. Fredette fits that characteristic to a tee.
Also, with the possibility of the Bulls having to trade Mike Dunleavy to clear salary in order to sign Anthony, an extra scorer like Fredette would come in handy in order to boost the team’s offensive firepower. With a lineup that includes Rose, Anthony and Fredette, the Bulls could go from one of the worst scoring NBA teams to one of the league’s best.
Along with Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler and possibly Taj Gibson, the Bulls can keep their defensive-minded identity that has been their trademark for the past several years. Even if they strikeout on signing Anthony, keeping Fredette should be a focus for the Bulls this summer. Scorers such as Fredette don’t come around too often, and if the Bulls can sign him to a multi-year deal, they shouldn’t hesitate to do so.
It wouldn’t be too hard to image Fredette being a backup shooting guard and point guard for the Bulls in the long term. Now, if only Bulls management could convince Thibodeau to get Fredette in the rotation.