Jimmer Fredette says he wants to get back in the NBA. Would the San Antonio Spurs be a good fit for the former top-ten pick?
The San Antonio Spurs have struggled with injuries at the guard position all year long, but they could potentially get a jump start by adding Jimmer Fredette to the roster.
Jimmer has been in the news lately for telling USA Today’s Hoops Hype that he wants another chance in the NBA after playing in China for the past couple of seasons.
“I want to have another opportunity in the NBA because there is some unfinished business for me there,” said Fredette. “This time, I’ll succeed. I feel really good about how I am playing. I know that if I get a chance, I will take advantage of it and be successful and help a team win.”
Jimmer says he will finish his contract in China this season, but he’d love to join an NBA team for the stretch run. He says he can bring veteran leadership along with some next-level scoring skills.
“I know what it takes to win and I’ve helped lead teams to winning cultures. I want to be a part of a winning culture. I’m going to help the young guys get better.”
The Spurs have been the definition of a “winning culture” in the NBA for two decades, but would Fredette be a good fit with the current squad in San Antonio?
Next: Jimmer's NBA career
Jimmer’s NBA career
In order to determine whether Fredette can succeed at the NBA level in the future, we need to look back at why he failed the first time around.
After being selected with the tenth overall pick out of BYU in 2011, Jimmer spent two-and-a-half seasons in Sacramento where he scored 7 points per game in 15 minutes per night while shooting over 40% from three.
Fredette scored a career-high 24 points on February 12th, 2014, but he was bought out by the Kings just two weeks later.
Jimmer then bounced around with the Bulls, Pelicans and Knicks before spending the 2015 preseason with the Spurs.
Fredette played just 13 .2 minutes per game for San Antonio that preseason and didn’t make a single three-pointer in limited playing time.
After pretty much flaming out in the NBA, Jimmer decided to rebuild his reputation in China.
Next: Jimmer's career in China
Jimmer’s career in China
Jimmer has put up eye-popping scoring numbers during his three seasons with the Shanghai Bilibili Sharks averaging over 36 points per game each year, and he’s scoring a career-high 38 points per game this season.
Fredette has been unconscious from three-point land through 15 games hitting 46.7% of his 10.13 attempts per game from deep.
However, he’s also dished out 6 assists per game as he improves his overall playmaking ability and he’s swiped 3.47 steals per night on the defensive end.
You may scoff at those ridiculous scoring numbers because of the lower level of competition in China, but check out how Jimmer’s numbers compare to other NBA players who have played in the same league.
Jimmer Fredette's numbers in China, compared to other NBA players who've played there recently (J.R. Smith, Michael Beasley, Brandon Jennings, Tracy McGrady, Aaron Brooks, Stephon Marbury and Gilbert Arenas)… pic.twitter.com/PsFFrgMxf0
— Andy Bailey (@AndrewDBailey) February 26, 2018
You do have to take his stats with a grain of salt, but the level of competition in China is higher than you may think and pretty high-level NBA players haven’t achieved the same level of success that Fredette is enjoying right now.
Next: Fredette's fit in San Antonio
Fredette’s fit in San Antonio
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San Antonio has historically been a great place for veterans to rehabilitate their career, and the Spurs could be the perfect team to give Jimmer another chance.
Adding a potentially electric scorer like Freddette could give San Antonio’s 14th-ranked offense a boost, and the Spurs will likely be fighting for a playoff spot in the Western Conference when he plans on joining a team.
It also sounds like Jimmer is willing to commit to leadership and playing solid defense this time around, which is something he regrets not doing as a younger player.
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We’ve seen many athletes go overseas for a few years and return to the NBA as much better players. I think Fredette could be another example of that formula succeeding, and the Spurs should give him a look when he’s ready to come over from China.