There’s a lot of pressure on rookies coming into the league that are lottery picks. They’re expected to make immediate contributions and even in some cases expected to change the luck of an entire team.
Jimmer Fredette wasn’t expected to turn the Sacramento Kings into a title contender or maybe not even a playoff team, but he did have a lot of hype surrounding his entry into the NBA. People love “The Jimmer.”
So for those with high expectations for Fredette, his rookie season was a bit of a let down. He shot only 39% from the floor and 36% from behind the arc. Pretty mundane numbers for a guy who’s supposed to be a sharpshooter.
Fredette is obviously hoping to improve this season. He says he can because improving is something he’s been doing for a long time.
“One thing that is good about me is, I’ve got better every single year at BYU and in high school,” said Fredette. “I think that’s going to happen soon. Same thing in the NBA. I work hard in the offseason to be a better play and be in good condition. But, also, going through a year knowing what you can and can’t do always helps you out. So, I’m excited to get out there and prove a lot of critics wrong. I don’t listen to it too much, but I know they’re out there. I know there are some out there.”
You can count me as one of those critics. I said when Jimmer left BYU that he was just a poor man’s J.J. Redick, a guy that could shoot but was going to struggle going up against NBA defenders. Redick found a little niche in Orlando where he could hit spot up jumpers when the defense collapsed on Dwight Howard. Fredette doesn’t have the luxury of a teammate who draws a lot of defensive attention.
So I’m not sold on Jimmer being a true NBA player just yet. I would think that his shooting numbers will probably improve, because they can’t really get any worse or he’ll be on the bench, but I just don’t see him as one of the guys who will turn the Kings into a playoff team. I’ve been wrong before, but the challenge is on Jimmer to prove me wrong again.