Jimmer Fredette is the best scorer in the world!!
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) January 27, 2011
After a senior year averaging 28.6 points and 4.3 assists per game and keeping the BYU ranked in the top 10 AP poll to end the season, Jimmer finished the season as the nation’s leading scorer. It wasn’t to anyone’s surprise he won the 2011 Naismith College Player of the Year award, an award with pretty high honors — beating UConn national champion Kemba Walker for it — one that Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Bill Walton had won during their college years.
When NBA Draft day came, all but one team was seriously sold on whether Jimmer could bring “Jimmermania” to the next level. For those who followed the NBA Draft, we all remember the Sacramento Kings being so sold on him that they even worked out a three-team trade during the draft, demanding for the Milwaukee Bucks to select him for them with the 10th overall pick. What happened next? Merchandise sales shot up more than 540 percent, immediately selling out of No. 7 jerseys in the Sacramento area.
For a top 10 NBA Draft pick and a college national player of the year, no one really expected “Jimmermania” to continue in the NBA. In his first two seasons in Sacramento, he averaged 7.4 points per game in an average of playing just 16:32 minutes per game. At the beginning of this season, the Kings declined to pick up his fourth year team option making him an unrestricted free agent after this season. Jimmer may consider himself a point guard, but is behind in the Kings rotation behind starting point guard Isaiah Thomas who the Kings had drafted the same year with the last overall pick, and is even playing behind rookie shooting guard Ben Mclemore this season. Currently in his third year, Jimmer is averaging a career low 5.7 ppg playing in just 11.7 mpg. With Isaiah Thomas’s career stats rising, it became an easy decision for the Kings to decline Jimmer’s fourth year player option in his rookie contract.
So where does Jimmer go from here? Obviously his game doesn’t seem to be translating with the big boys. The days of getting “Jimmered” are long history, and if Sacramento doesn’t trade him this season, Jimmer will have to find a new specialty, a way to become a threat to teams from scoring the ball consistently to improving his speed, ballhandling, and passing ability.
He needs to slowly work his way back into a rotation with the goal of becoming an NBA starter. He could certainly take some notes from NBA vet J.J Redick on how to prolong an NBA career, but the clock is ticking. His time as a King is coming to a dead end.
If not traded before the end of this season, which team will give Jimmer his next shot? For him to succeed at this level, here are five potential NBA teams where he may find success.