The Jimmer has found a new NBA home. Former BYU sensation Jimmer Fredette has officially agreed to a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, according to reports.
Fredette will look for a fresh start after failing to breakout with the Sacramento Kings in three seasons. Fredette also spent some of last season with the Chicago Bulls, but failed to crack the rotation and ultimately both sides chose to move on.
A quality scorer who can run the point or play off guard, Fredette’s main issue through three NBA seasons has been an inability to defend either guard position. He displayed NBA-level athleticism at the combine before the 2011 NBA Draft, but that ability has yet to transition to the court.
The Pelicans didn’t bring him on to be a lockdown defender, though. They want to get better in every facet, and one could be their guard depth, with another being outside shooting.
As their roster currently stands, Fredette doesn’t seem to have a clear path to a major role or significant minutes. However, injuries derailed New Orleans a year ago, as starting point guard Jrue Holiday and starting shooting guard Eric Gordon missed a good amount of action.
Fredette is insurance. The team could eventually be parting ways with backup combo guard Austin Rivers, which makes Fredette his likely replacement. Fredette’s own ability to both shoot and create makes him another combo guard, which should allow him to back up both guard spots and come in and help in a pinch. The Pelicans aren’t planning on Holiday or Gordon to miss most of the year again, but if they do they know they’ll have some solid offensive help in the form of Fredette.
Those two weren’t the only two players to miss time last year, though, which is a key reason why adding another offensive player was huge for the Pelicans. Forward Ryan Anderson, arguably the team’s best three-point shooter, also missed extensive time during the 2013-14 NBA season and isn’t even a lock to be healthy when the new season starts. In fact, Anderson might even be on the trading block.
At first glance, the Jimmer Fredette signing is small. However, with all the injuries the Pelicans have endured, it could easily go down as a big one later on in the year.