College legend and hero among white basketball players everywhere Jimmer Fredette was recently cut by Sacramento Kings. The latest reports have the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers interested in picking up Jimmer for the rest of the season to see if they can salvage one of the more polarizing players of the 2011 NBA Draft. Jimmer has one skill he excels at (shooting) and a lot of other areas that can be taught in the right situation. I don’t think anyone would say that Sacramento was a place for him to succeed with all of the turmoil they have dealt with in the past few seasons. Jimmer needed to get out of Sacramento more than Raymond Felton needed an excuse for this past NBA season.
So should the Boston Celtics try to swoop in at the last minute and pick up Jimmer? ESPN.com’s Chris Forsberg wrote about this topic in his Celtics mailbag (something we may do one day) and it seemed as though the C’s wouldn’t even kick the tires on Jimmer, or that Jimmer would just prefer to go to a contender. Well, now that it seems Chicago and Cleveland are his first choices, why wouldn’t Boston jump into the race?
If you look at the Celtics current roster and how it projects, they don’t have a true three-point shooter on the team. Avery Bradley and Jeff Green are capable, but neither are specialists, and they will always be needed to do more on the court than just take jumpers. Jimmer, at the right price, can offer that kind of role for this team in the future. And in this current market, it doesn’t look as though they would have to pay too much for Jimmer’s services. In fact, when they dump last night’s star Jerryd Bayless, they can use half of that money, or maybe a bit more, to sign Jimmer.
In addition, Jimmer can certainly learn how to try and mask his defensive deficiencies under Brad Stevens. Jimmer will never be better than a league-average defender, and that is not something anyone would expect him to be. However, there are ways around that and Stevens is a defense-first coach. He would offer Jimmer the strict and stable environment Jimmer valued at BYU and can help turn his career around. They would NOT have him play any point guard, a mistake the Kings have made over and over, and could pair Jimmer up with a ball-handling, defensive guard.
This is probably a moot point as Jimmer may end up somewhere in the Midwest, and then a year from now score 22 in Boston on 10 shots. Either way, I think there is something here for Danny Ainge to look at now that the contenders aren’t looking to add salary. All I know is if he did sign with the Celtics, I would already be on NBA.com ordering my Fredette t-shirt (I realize, I would be the only one).