Luhm: Jimmer Fredette still has time to find his niche in the NBA
While Jimmer Fredette was being jeered by most of the fans attending the recent Jazz-Kings game at EnergySolutions Arena, the realization hit me.
There is a niche in the NBA for the former BYU star and, one of these days, he's going to find it.
Fredette probably won't find career happiness in Sacramento at least not the way the Kings are currently constructed.
His ability to shoot the ball, however, remains an NBA-worthy talent.
Combined with his willingness to work and improve, which he has clearly done between his first and second seasons, I'm convinced Fredette will eventually settle into a defined role and earn steady minutes.
Think about it for a moment.
In Utah alone, former Jazz players including Howard Eisley, Delaney Rudd, Ronnie Price, Jacque Vaughn and John Crotty found themselves in the right situation, worked diligently and approached their jobs with absolute professionalism.
As a result, all of them enjoyed lengthy careers despite possessing, in my opinion, fewer marketable skills than Fredette.
When given meaningful minutes this season, Fredette has played well. He scored 18 in a game against the Lakers and 13 against Portland.
"He's doing a great job," Sacramento coach Keith Smart said. "He hasn't gotten all the minutes he wants, but we have a long season ahead of us and the young man has made a big jump from last season to now. â¦ He's moving at a good pace. He's going to have a good career. I like what he's doing."
Fredette's chances to prove himself, however, have been hit-and-miss.
In the first of back-to-back games against the Jazz, for example, he scored 10 points in 17 minutes and was one of the Kings' most effective players during a 104-102 loss in Utah.
Twenty-four hours later, Fredette played only six minutes in a 108-97 Kings win in Sacramento.
"It's always a challenge for a player who has to do that," Fredette said. "But a lot of players go through it. You just have to stay ready â¦ [and] I think I've done a good job of that."
He continued: "â¦ It's up to the coach, ultimately, to choose who's going to play. So you just have to play the best you can when you have the opportunity. I feel like I've done that."
A problem for Fredette and Smart is the makeup of the Kings' roster.
Among Sacramento's top six perimeter players, Aaron Brooks, Isaiah Thomas and Fredette are best suited to play point guard.
If Smart uses Fredette at shooting guard, he must sit two of his top three scorers, Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton.
Evans can also play point guard. In fact, it might be his best position.
"I have so many guards so many perimeter players," Smart said. "Trying to get them all into the rotation has been difficult."
A logjam? Yes.
A logjam that has impacted Fredette's career? Certainly.
A logjam that Fredette can't overcome? I don't think so.
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