Jimmer Fredette is one of the happiest players in the NBA today because the Sacramento Kings just gave his career a lifeline: The team that made a puzzling draft-day trade to select the former BYU star has declined his option for next season, meaning the 3-point marksman can start packing his bags. Unless the Kings can trade him, Fredette will probably make $2.6 million to rot on the Kings bench this season. He’ll sift through free agent offers next July. From the Bee:
Therefore, Fredette will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. The Kings could re-sign him at a reduced salary, but the decision likely means this will be Fredette’s final season with the team.
It also means Fredette probably would bring more value in a trade because his expiring deal would create salary cap space for next summer’s free-agent class. The trade deadline is Feb. 20.
Jimmer’s career in Sacramento was doomed from the jump. The Kings had too many guards. He didn’t have a position. The locker room was turbulent. Coaching changes happened. Zero stability, no veterans to learn from, just a 100% disaster. The Kings are still searching for an identity in the post Vlade/C-Webb/White Chocolate era.
The obvious lading spot for Fredette is with the Utah Jazz, where he would be worshipped by a fan base that fell in love with his game at Provo. The Jazz currently have point guard issues with rookie Trey Burke on the shelf for at least another six weeks. There will be cap room to sign him next July. Done deal, right?
Some other teams to consider where Fredette could have a role off the bench: Miami, because Ray Allen’s 39 next July and the Heat are one of the most prolific 3-point shooting teams in the league; San Antonio, where gunners Danny Green and Gary Neal thrived last season (though Fredette couldn’t feign defense like he did with the Kings); the Clippers, who picked up JJ Redick and Jared Dudley this year to spot up and make bombs; and the Knicks, because Fredette is from upstate New York and the team averaged 28 three-pointers a night.