For much of the later part of the 2013-14 NBA regular season, Jimmer Fredette was a forgotten man after signing with the Chicago Bulls in early March. He was supposed to be an extra rotation player who could provide the Bulls with a ton of outside shooting. But that never happened.
What did happen, however, was a lot of sitting and watching from the bench for Fredette. In fact, the only time Fredette would even get off the pine — when he wasn’t stretching his legs — was to play in garbage time at the end of games. He never really got the opportunity to shine as a Bull other than a 17-point game against the Orlando Magic when D.J. Augustin was out for personal reasons.
Sure, Fredette probably regretted signing with the Bulls after being bought out by the Sacramento Kings earlier in the year. He probably regretted uprooting his family from Sacramento to Chicago. He also probably wished he would get a fair chance to show he belongs in the league. But he came to the Bulls because he thought there was a good opportunity to get quality playing time on a playoff team. The same opportunity that allowed Augustin, Nate Robinson and John Lucas III to revitalize their careers in the NBA.
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau has become known for getting the most out of players regardless of their previous journeyman status. Fredette could still get that chance if the Bulls choose to re-sign him. With both Augustin and Kirk Hinrich free agents this summer, there might be a sense of urgency to retain Fredette in a backup role behind superstar Derrick Rose. The Bulls were also exposed in the playoffs for their lack of scoring, and Fredette could easily help in that area.
If the team can also trade for Carmelo Anthony, or sign him outright, Fredette can also serve as the Bulls’ primary outside shooter that the Bulls are always searching for. Basically, he can fill the shoes of Kyle Korver, Marco Belinelli and most recently Mike Dunleavy.
Thibodeau will also be more equipped to get Fredette in the rotation after being apart of the Bulls’ training camp before the season starts. Once Fredette earns Thibodeau’s trust in camp, there is no doubt that he can crack the Bulls’ rotation for good during the 2014-15 season. Now it’s just a matter of bringing him back and giving him the opportunity.