It should be apparent by now that I'm not big on Jimmer Fredette as an NBA prospect. I've been trying to cool the irons on him since March. I've plugged him in as low as the late teens in mock drafts. I listed him in the "Buyer Beware" post. Basically, if you wanted to make the case that I'm a "hater," you wouldn't have to spend long cooking up the formula. In reality, I merely have concerns about his length, athleticism and adaptation to the NBA game. But in light of Ken Berger of CBSSports.com's recent post wrapping up the latest draft news, there's one scenario where Fredette can not only survive in the NBA game, but flourish. From the halls of Brigham Young to the streets of New York. From KB:
If Toronto passes on Biyombo, some execs believe he could slide as far as 14-18, and the Knicks, with the 17th pick, are known to be high on him. But the apple of the Knicks’ eye is BYU sharpshooter Jimmer Fredette, and New York officials are trying to compute how far they’d have to trade up for him and what it would cost.via NBA draft buzz: Kyrie No. 1 - CBSSports.com.
New York is the one place where Jimmer could not only become a decent role player (which is possible anywhere he's drafted, the kid can play after all) but develop into a legitimate star. While he'll never be Steve Nash, D'Antoni's system does reward players with quick instincts and efficient jumpers, which Jimmer has both of. D'Antoni has a knack for taking players of odd-fitting ilk (Boris Diaw, Leandro Barbosa, Toney Douglas, Landry Fields) and producing effective players by employing them correctly in his fast-paced dance.
Fredette's never going to win any foot races in the NBA, but by filling in on the perimeter in transition to find open shots and by learning to distribute by sheer volume of opportunity, Fredette can become something more than he would be otherwise in the NBA. It's certainly true that D'Antoni preferes accomplished veterans whose athleticism prevails, but there's something to be said of the nexus of talent where D'Antoni's machinations so often play. Yes, Nash is a daring specimen in terms of conditioning despite his back problem, but it's always been his guile that has set him apart, as it did under D'Antoni. Fredette can quite simply remain a threat at all times as he loops under the basket and around it, while aslo working off of Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. Fredette in the pick and roll with either player could be deadly as Fredette's shooter's touch would deny the defense's ability to cut under the screen and dare the ball-handler to shooot. Instead, due attention would have to be paid to Fredette which would open up angles for the superstars on the roll.
Granted all this is dependent on Fredette actually falling to wherever the Knicks wind up picking on Thursday. But as New York continues to pursue deals to move up -- among the many teams that should be wary of Fredette's limitations -- New York provides the right situation for Jimmer to thrive and be the firecracker his narrative so desperately sells him as.
Plus, no one will be able to tell if he can't play defense in New York. Sorry, the joke had to be made.