To Jimmer Or Not To Jimmer
That is the question facing NBA GMs.
To Jimmer or not to Jimmer, that is the question facing NBA GMs. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of the outrageous fortune Jimmer will bring to your team, or to take arms against a sea of troubles by selecting another player.
No, Billy Shakespeare didn’t have Jimmer Fredette in mind when he wrote Hamlet, but the name “Jimmer” probably is more of a household name nowadays than Hamlet is, after Fredette took the college basketball world by storm this season with his explosive scoring exploits. But can he translate his superlative ability to put the ball in the hoop over to the hardwoods of the NBA? That is what NBA GMs picking in the late lottery to mid-first round range will have to decide over the next couple of weeks (right now he’s projected to go between picks 11-15). Here are some key factors that will help a team decide whether they should Jimmer or not.
Obviously the biggest strength of Jimmer Fredette is his ability to shoot the basketball. Pretty much any shot over halfcourt is makeable for Fredette (and probably quite a few behind the center court line also) and he has supreme confidence in his ability to knock down jumpers. But Jimmer isn’t just a long-range gunner—he also has a deadly mid-range game. But perhaps the most impressive aspect of Fredette’s game is his ability to create and get his own shot off, which will be important as he progresses to the NBA.
Or Not To Jimmer
Fredette very much fits the dreaded “tweener” label some NBA prospects are stamped with. Standing under 6-3 with shoes on, and only possessing a 6-5 wingspan, Fredette is too small to play consistent minutes as a shooting guard in the NBA. But that is where he is best suited to play as, due to BYU’s need for his scoring ability, he never really was a true point guard in college. To compound matters, he proved to be very turnover prone, almost averaging as many turnovers as assists this past season.
Fredette has plenty of intangibles that make him a great basketball player. He’s a hardworker. He’s a great teammate. Despite all of the shots he takes, he’s not a selfish player. He is very smart on the floor. A team drafting Fredette will get a great guy who will never embarrass them off the floor and has the ability to lead and inspire teammates on the court
Or Not To Jimmer
Lack of Athleticism
First let’s get this straight—anyone who competes at a very high level in the NCAA and goes on to play in the NBA is a terrific athlete. So when we say that Fredette lacks athleticism, we only mean relative to other NBA players and prospects, not to the general public. While many say Fredette is sneaky quick and athletic, that didn’t translate into his pre-draft combine workouts, where pretty much all his measurements related to athleticism (vertical, agility, etc) ranked towards the bottom half of point guard prospects in this year’s draft.
Great System Player
What many are saying, and we tend to agree with, is that Fredette can be a very good NBA player if he is put in the right system on the right team. That system, obviously, would be a wide open, fastbreak, offense first system, similar to what the Phoenix Suns tend to run and Mike D’Antoni is known for. Plug Fredette into a system that allows him offensive freedom and creativity, and his talents could fully blossom in the NBA.
Or Not To Jimmer
Fredette is not a good defender (that actually probably is an understatement), and his lack of athleticism, height and length will hurt him even more at the NBA level. But what might be more concerning is statements by draft “experts” that Jimmer doesn’t exert enough effort on the defensive end. Hustle, to an extent, can make up for lack of size, speed and athleticism, but only if the player wants to be a good defender.