Dec 7, 2012; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings point guard Jimmer Fredette (7) shoots a three point shot against the Orlando Magic during the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Sacramento Kings defeated the Orlando Magic 91-82. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Kings: Can Jimmer Fredette Reach His Potential?

Jimmer Fredette had a huge night on Thursday.  The kind of night that made NBA scouts take notice of his time at BYU. When the Sacramento Kings drafted Jimmer, they had high hopes for his development into a sharpshooting point-guard/guard. Through his two seasons, Jimmer has had a hard time adjusting to the NBA. Whether it was the speed of the game, or the general level of talent around him, he just couldn’t seem to find his groove. There were times where the potential that the scouts saw would flash and give everyone hope, then just as fast as it flashed it was gone again. With some stability coming to Sacramento, could Jimmer finally realize his potential, or is there too much standing in front of him?

On Thursday against the Phoenix Suns, Jimmer had one of those nights that made him such an intriguing prospect out of college. Playing for 32 minutes, he racked up: 23 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals. Pretty impressive numbers even by NBA standards, especially for a guy that doesn’t see a lot of floor time. He scorched the Suns from behind the 3-point line shooting 5/7 for 15 points. His shooting was 9/15 from inside the arc as well. Contributing on the defensive side of the ball as well, Jimmer showed a well-rounded performance. There have been flashes like this over the last two seasons, but unfortunately they seem to be few and far between for the young shooter.

Scheme may have been an issue for Jimmer in the past. Watching him on Thursday, one would think he looked very comfortable in Malone’s defensive-minded game plan. Jimmer moves very well off the pick and can usually drill the shot home off the roll. Mike Malone‘s scheme has a lot more ball movement than we have seen from Sacramento in the last few years, and moving without the ball is imperative. When he’s open, Jimmer has all the confidence in the world to make the shot. He just has to move to get that shot.

Unfortunately for Fredette, he is going to have to compete with two other men for playing time. Marcus Thornton and Ben McLemore aren’t going to give up time without a fight, and Jimmer is going to have to string together a few more games like Thursday’s in order to make a serious push for playing time. Thornton has proven all through last year that he is a scorer through-and-through. McLemore is the newest member of the Kings via this year’s draft, so he will be looking to show off his athleticism and scoring ability as well. A position change for Fredette seems to even be out of the question because of the battle at the point-guard slot as well. Jimmer is going to have to really step his game up and push hard if he wants to climb the depth chart for this team.

With his solid play on Thursday, and continuing to grow in Malone’s scheme, there is a chance that Jimmer Fredette could end up living up to the potential that made him a top prospect in college. There are many things standing in front of him that will make it a tough fight, but if he is up to it, Jimmer could end up being a solid rotational player in this new Sacramento Kings regime.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Ben McLemore Jimmer Fredette Marcus Thornton Sacramento Kings Western Conference

  • jesperson

    Jimmer shouldn’t fight for minutes with any of the Kings guards, the best defender in the NBA against Jimmer has been the Kings themselves. Let Jimmer play the point and do what we all know he can do, and what he did in college Score at will off the dribble with multiple defenders trying to stop him every game yet he would still drop 52 pts, He was double teamed in games at half court then triple teamed at 3pt line and still he found ways to score HE ISNT DUKES JJ REDDICK Jimmer can create his own shot!! Jimmer don’t re-sign with the miserable Kings instead sign with OKC play with Durrant and co. and win games!!

  • Truth928

    Jimmer IS living up to his potential..The problem has not been “the speed of the game or general level of talent around him.” That is easily proved by scores of you tube videos showing Fredette EMBARRASSING NBA defenders from Derrick Rose to Brandon Knight.

    if you took Lebron James and only let him play 14 chopped up minutes a night with a good number of jealous teammates, yanked him after any missed shot or turnover, and hit him with DNP’s after spectacular performances he probably would end up averging 7 to 8 ppg…Like Fredette.

    Kieth “smart” simply ABUSED Fredette for 2 years and anyone who watched would say the same.
    (BTW “smart” also abused Jeremy Lin and refused to let him play an entire season.)

    Fredette electrified arenas all over the country (albeit for only a quarter or less a game as his
    degenerate coach would immediately bench him) against the Kncks, T wolves,
    Spurs, Celtics, Bucks , Lakers, Sixers, Magic, Bulls, Suns etc…. 10, 12 ,15
    points in a quarter with Nash-like assists and dazzling drives around 2 and 3 defenders and deep
    threes…He does it all . A Great penetrator, Great passer and a Great shooter.
    and a team first player it is unbelievable when someone is actually doing
    everything right before their eyes and people still dont believe it….

    If Fredette were allowed to play most of the game he would avg 25 pts , 7 or 8 assists and his team would
    Last night 23pts, 4 rebounds , 5 assists(should have been 10), %70 SHOOTING FROM 3PT RANGE, 2 more steals and he was obviously the best player on the court for most of the night.

    SOMEBODY is gonna figure that out…. AT one

    point last year in mid-season Jimmer Fredette was #1 in the NBA in scoring per minute for
    PGs…You think he might have earned a start or 30 minutes of playing
    time…”smart” hit him with some dnps

    Last year, Jimmer lit up the Los Angeles Lakers for 18 points in just under 11 minutes. Later in the season, he would drop 14 points in just over nine incredible minutes
    against the Milwaukee Bucks.

    In the 2012-13 season, only four players in the league scored 14 or more points while
    playing less than 12 minutes in a game. Jimmer Fredette was the only player in the league to pull
    off the feat twice.

    Let this kid play and he will put up BYU numbers again.

    • Duston Downum

      I completely agree with you. Jimmer has all the ability in the world, but as you pointed out, has played only a few minutes here and there because of coaches mismanaging his abilities. That’s why I wrote this article, was to show hat he could do I given the opportunity in a conducive scheme.

    • wyocard

      You’re absolutley correct in your analysis. Those Jimmer detractors who ignorantly proclaim that he has no “handle,” can’t pass, etc. obviously haven’t talked to the best defenders in college and the NBA who have had to guard him. For whatever the reason, probably something that will never be known, Smart and his other “coaches” conspired to deprive Jimmer of a chance to prove himself and tried to destroy his career. Maybe Malone is a little “smarter” and will want to win badly enough that he’ll play Jimmer. If not, he should trade him. Jimmer is just too good to spend another year sitting on the Sacramento bench watching a losing team.

      • Truth928

        ” conspired to deprive Jimmer of a chance to prove himself and tried to destroy his career.”

        Dead on.

        The Sacramento press and radio and TV announcers said nothing…for 2 years !!!

        Ive been watching basketball and other sports for decades and
        never saw anything so unfair, ignorant and horrible. Fredette a top pick on the Kings gets
        treated like an untalented washup with a bad attitude…Why ?


        He played on losing team…one of the worst in the league for 2 years.
        there was no reason not to let him play every game for 30 or 40
        minutes..NO REASON.

  • tommyO64

    He is simply the best player they have bar none. If given time he will shut alot of low IQ haters who haven’t a clue. Lebron agrees….

    LeBron James:

    “He knows how to play the game and he knows how to score the ball,” Heat
    forward LeBron James said. “It doesn’t matter what level you’re on—if you’re
    averaging 29 points in college or high school or whatever the case may be, you
    know how to put the ball in the hoop. He’s explosive when he has his
    opportunity. His opportunity right now has been going up and down. Of course,
    we’ve all seen that. But when he’s had an opportunity, he’s known how to play.”

    - February 2011, AP article about Jimmer adjusting to playing on a losing

  • Bryan

    This is a HORRIBLE assessment of Jimmer Fredette’s time in the NBA. It has been marked by excellence. Every time the guy gets on the court he performs. Keith Smart has held Jimmer down intentionally, and everyone in the NBA – both within the franchise and out – knows it. He is a GREAT player stuck on a HORRIBLE team with more politics than the IRS under an Obama administration.