There were days Jimmer Fredette stepped onto a basketball court in Utah to raucous applause from thousands of fans who expected an offensive explosion from the shooting guard.
For now at least, those days are over.
Fredette, a standout at BYU, finds himself at the end of the Sacramento Kings' bench, out of the rotation and, after this year, out of a contract.
"The reality is Ben McLemore is a big part of our future," Kings coach Mike Malone said of the rookie from Kansas. "He had a career high last night against the Lakers with 20 points. â¦ So he's going to get the lion's share of the minutes at the two-guard."
Malone called it a "tough decision" coming out of preseason whether to give the backup's minutes to Fredette or Marcus Thornton.
Thornton won out, giving way to Fredette only during a four-game stretch earlier this season. Fredette, who dropped nearly 30 a night his last year in Provo, has seen time in just six games this season. He is averaging career-lows in minutes (12.2) and points (4.0).
The Kings, meanwhile, declined to pick up Fredette's option, making him an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
"He's a pro," Malone said. "He's a high-character kid. He's done everything we've asked him to do and he's staying ready, which I respect."
Head of the class
Even if the Jazz's rookie point guard wasn't playing a game Friday night, he still probably wouldn't have paid too much attention to McLemore's performance against Los Angeles. Trey Burke says he hears about the successes of the other players in his class, but he doesn't pay much mind.
Similarly, Burke called winning Rookie of the Year a goal but "not something I'm stressing over."
"I'm just trying to play my game," he said. "â¦ That's just putting extra pressure on yourself. I've played better when I just go out there freely. Don't think about that and just play the game."
Derrick Favors missed his first game of the season Saturday because of a sore lower back.
Marvin Williams missed his third straight game as he deals with a sore heel. Forward Jeremy Evans made his fourth career start.