I will begin this article by saying that Jimmer Fredette is no superstar, in fact he’s not even a solid player, just yet. However his ranking as the 394th best player in the league on ESPN’s #NBArank 2015 is unjustified. The list features the top 400 players, which means Fredette is seen as only better than six players. Those six players are Charlie Villanueva, Tibor Pleiss, Rashad Vaughn, Lance Thomas, Johnny O’Bryant, and Lucas Nogueira.
About five years ago, I would’ve laughed if I was told that Fredette would be seen even near the bottom of the top 400. At BYU, Fredette was an incredible collegiate player, who could shoot from nearly half court without much trouble. As a senior he averaged 28.9 points and 4.3 assists. Fredette’s magnificent season helped him become the 10th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Sep 28, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Jimmer Fredette (16) poses for a photo during Media Day at the training facilitie. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
As a rookie, Fredette showed signs at times. He averaged 7.6 points and 1.8 assists. In his second season, Fredette shot 42% from three point range and he averaged 7.2 points. Since then, Fredette hasn’t had much of an opportunity. The 26-year-old sharpshooter hasn’t started a game since his rookie year, when he started in seven contests.
Yes, Fredette struggles to defend and make plays for others, but if he is given an opportunity he may produce. Fredette can be a poor man’s version of a Jason Terry. He is an undersized scorer, who will have to rely on his grit, not his skill or tools on defense.
If Fredette makes the Spurs roster, he can prove to the naysayers why he is not a “bust”.
Fredette wasn’t the only player snubbed on this list. Milwaukee Bucks rookie Rashad Vaughn and Mavericks veteran Charlie Villanueva didn’t get a fair shake either. It’s clear that ESPN must improve their rankings, as some of these placements are inexplicable.