Jimmer Fredette still has some big fans despite his relatively minor impact on the NBA. The former BYU standout can certainly shoot the basketball, especially from long range, but much of his career has been delegated to playing overseas.
Fredette last played for the Knicks in 2016, but he’s also seen occasional time with the Pelicans and Kings, who drafted him in 2011. His absence from the NBA, though, hasn’t slowed the enthusiasm for his game from many hoops fans, and even some former NBA players. Former Kings big man Jack Cooley told Jody Gennesy of Desert News that he’s skeptical enough hoops players are talented enough to keep Fredette out of the NBA at this point. Cooley raved about playing with Fredette and said his performances overseas and in The Basketball Tournament should earn him another shot at playing in the Association.
“Things have changed a lot from when I entered the league with three-point shooting now at a real premium as well as guys who can really hit the deep threes and give their superstars space to operate. There’s a lot of transition, a lot of moving the ball, things I excel in, so I think the league has really changed to my favor since I got into the NBA.”
A teammate of his at ‘The Basketball Tournament’ seems to think he belongs in the current NBA as well. Cooley is playing with Jimmer on Team Fredette after he was recruited to play by Jordan Crawford. And seeing him on the court has convinced Cooley that Jimmer still has what it takes. He called the experience “unbelievable” and said teams strategize only to neutralize his shooting, which has him convinced the shooting guard can still play in the NBA.
“There’s no way there’s 300 people better than him in basketball. No way,” Cooley said. “I absolutely think he should be in the NBA. … I don’t think there’s a team that has 15 guys better than him. I don’t see it.”
Fredette actually getting another chance to prove his point doesn’t seem likely, so it might simply be a case of a player coming along just before his time.