Jimmer Time, Jimmer Mania, teach me how to Jimmer. If you haven’t heard these three sayings, you must not have watched college basketball in 2010. Jimmer Fredette was the Steph Curry of college basketball that year. He drained three pointers from deep while suiting up for Brigham Young University. He was so good that he was drafted number 10 in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. Despite his huge college success, he couldn’t make his mark in the NBA. He was traded around the league many times, played for the D-League for a while, and he recently took a trip to play in China.
Not many big name basketball players come out of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, other than Danny Ainge and Shawn Bradley. Fredette is the most recent player drafted to the NBA from BYU and just couldn’t quite make the mark. While playing for the Cougars, Jimmer scored over 2,500 points. He also won a number of awards including the John R. Wooden Award (2011), Naismith College Player of the Year (2011), AP Player of the Year (2011), and many other MVP and All-America First Team Awards. He holds the record for most points scored in a game (52) and a single season (1,068), along with the record for most three pointers made in a season (124) and career (296) at BYU. Jimmer’s senior year, the Cougars went 29-5 and were a number seven seed in the March Madness Tournament. They ended up losing to Kansas State in the second round. Overall, it is easy to say Jimmer was a household name throughout Utah and around the college basketball world.
From NBA to CBA
Jimmer Fredette was drafted 10th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2011 but was quickly traded to the Sacramento Kings. He played with the Kings for two and a half years before becoming a free agent. In 2014, Fredette signed a contract with the Chicago Bulls that only lasted a few months. Later that year, the New Orleans Pelicans picked him up but only for a year. Jimmer became a free agent again and couldn’t seem to find a home in the professional ranks. In 2015, the San Antonio Spurs signed him, but again, only for a few months. He then played in the D-League for a bit for the Westchester Knicks. Fredette is originally from Glens Falls, New York and many thought when he went there it was for good. Finally the New York Knicks called him up from the D-League in 2016. He lasted about a month. This is not uncommon for star college athletes. Many make it to the bigs only to find they are not quite cut out for it. Jimmer, as many others have done, looked into international ball. Last year, Fredette joined the Shanghai Sharks in the Chinese Basketball Association. He singed a one-year contract to play for the team, owned by basketball legend Yao Ming. It was that year that Jimmer Mania returned.
2016 was a great year for Fredette. He finally found himself and outscored almost everyone in the Chinese League. During the year, Jimmer had 13 games where he scored over 40 points and had a total of 1,381 points. In the last game of the season, Jimmer scored 73 points! Here are full highlights from that game.
Jimmer and the Sharks ended up losing in double-overtime 135-132, but he has made his mark in the CBA. Putting up 73 points in the last game of the season, for a team he only signed a one-year contract with sounds like an attempt to get others to notice. Here’s the big question: Is Jimmer ready for the NBA and is the NBA ready for Jimmer?
Who Should Pick Him Up?
Many teams in the NBA could use a good three-point shooting threat off the bench. Fredette probably won’t find a team in the NBA ready to start him but he can slowly prove he is ready. He could become the best international player in China and make tons of money if he wants to, but it seems Jimmer has not given up on his NBA dream. There are a few teams that could use him, and might be interested. Some of these teams are already familiar with having Jimmer around and might give him another shot.
Sacramento Kings: With the big news of DeMarcus Cousins being traded to the New Orleans Pelicans, they are in need of a new big name player. They received Buddy Hield in the trade and he might do just fine in Sacramento. Hield is a good outside shooter but he is still a rookie. Fredette has more experience in the NBA and from his international play. The Kings are familiar with Jimmer and might give him another shot after what he has been able to do in China.
Chicago Bulls: The Bulls signed Fredette for a whole four months. That might not have been long enough to prove he could help out. Chicago had the worst three-point percentage in the NBA last year. However, the Bulls have Doug McDermott, who plays very similar to Fredette. Jimmy Butler has been doing well for the Bulls and will likely be the next star and face of Chicago, but having McDermott and Fredette working together could be a nice strategy.
Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks are one player away from being a massive threat in the NBA. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the face of the team and will lead them to great things. Having Fredette on their squad could really boost their game. Teams need good offensive threats on the bench and although Jimmer wouldn’t start, he could get some good minutes and find the outside shot.
Los Angeles Lakers/Brooklyn Nets/Phoenix Suns: As some of the leagues worst teams in the nation, they could all use anyone to help them out. The Lakers, Nets, and Suns had the worst records last year and are pretty desperate. They will get good players in the draft to help, but adding a more experienced player like Fredette, would not hurt.
Utah Jazz: The Utah Jazz make the most sense for Fredette. His biggest fan base is in China and Utah. Bringing Fredette to Utah would be one of the smartest things the Jazz could do. They have stars like Gordon Hayward who made it to the All-Star Game this year as a reserve, but having Jimmer would be great. Not only would he help the team by knocking down some big shots off the bench, he would also fill the seats. Ticket sales would go up, the Jazz fan club would grow, and who knows, maybe they could actually make a good post season run. They have been on the verge of greatness for the past few years, but have not quite made it. They are no match against the elites like the Warriors and Cavaliers, but putting Jimmer in the building will do wonders for the Utah Jazz.
Where do you think Jimmer Fredette will land if he makes an NBA return? Let us know in the comments!