The NBA Draft is simply the most important time of the year for rebuilding
franchises. Just ask the Portland Trail Blazers. Whether it is the next Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant, or the next Sam Bowie and Greg Oden, we are out to identify the legitimate prospects from the phony ones. Every week, we will deliver profiles of top prospects and breakdown their game. We will give you player comparisons, ratings, outside opinions on the prospects, and much more. Last we had Colorado’s Alec Burks, and next up is BYU guard Jimmer Fredette.
Ceiling: Stephen Curry
Basement: Eddie House
Final Comparison: Mark Price
Ratings (on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being overseas talent and 10 being NBA Rookie of the Year)
This is where you would believe the biggest slight on Fredette would come, but athletically he is basically par for the course. He is not John Wall on a fastbreak, and on the other hand he is not Yi Jianlian. Defensively his foot speed could hurt him in one-on-one defense, which is not his forte anyway. On offense he has enough quickness combined with a first-step that will allow him to score off his athleticism. Solid, but not elite on the athletic scale.
The skill most associated with Fredette is shooting, deadly and at times unlimited range shooting. He is an elite shot maker, but what goes unnoticed is his ability to create those scoring opportunities with and without the ball. Fredette has a very nice secret weapon, his crossover. It is deceptive and efficient because he bursts by you with quickness you did not think was there. He uses that to get into the lane or to his preferred shooting spots with regularity. Off the ball, Fredette can run you through screens to stretch the floor other playmakers allowing him to play both guard spots.
Fredette is easily one of the top five NBA-ready players in this draft class, and he is going to make an instant impact. The combination of his shooting range and fearlessness will allow him to earn minutes and play right away. On the offensive end, he can make shots, create a little for others and play off the ball as good as anyone. That combination of scoring and shooting are valued in today’s NBA, and those are the qualities that will translate from Day One.
For as ready as Fredette is to step in and play today, he is not going to be drafted for any potential progressions over the next five years. He is about as good as he can be already with small windows to improve in certain areas. The offensive skills he has are not going away, he will always be a great shooter and a threat on offense. Due to his limited athletic ability and defensive prowess, he will not get dramatically better – he has tapped about 80% of his potential already. The best case scenario for Fredette is a path blazed by J.J. Redick of hard-work and adapting his game to the team needs.
Fredette is a basketball player through and through, he proved that off the court and on. In interviews he sounds very intelligent, he knows the game and how to articulate it when needed. On the court he has a savvy, a confidence that is unflappable no matter the situation, which allows him to see the game in ways only a select few can. The world knows he can shoot, but more importantly he is a very smart player both on and off the court and uses his intelligence to his advantage.
Combined Score: 36 out of 50 possible points
Fredette will be able to step in immediately and you know what you are going to get. He is not a risk and has the talent to be an NBA player. His upside is limited, that is the risk you take.
Best Fit: Philadelphia 76ers
With the ball constantly in his hands on a team lacking in talent and athleticism, Fredette will flounder. On a team like Philadelphia, one that has both talent and athleticism already, Fredette can assume the role of scorer and shooter to develop other aspects of his game. Playing off of playmakers like Andre Iguodala, Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner will allow him to maximize his skills and even mask his flaws early in his career. A playoff-caliber team like this is the perfect fit now and in the future for a player with Fredette’s skill set.
“You just have to know what you’re getting. He has limited athleticism. He’s not the greatest ball-handler. He’s just an okay passer. But as far as flat-out shooting, he’s one of the best in the country. And if you put him around good players, he’ll be even better.” – NBA scout
What do you think?
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