The Sacramento Kings are working on a Jimmer Fredette buyout according to GM Pete D’Alessandro, opening up an interesting opportunity for the Orlando Magic. Fredette has many similarities to the Magic’s former shooting guard J.J. Redick, and could be a low-risk/high-upside pick-up for the rebuilding franchise.
Since the Magic finished last season with the NBA’s worst record, they have the right of first refusal when a player hits the waiver wire. If the Magic do want him, they can pick him up on waivers before any other team gets a shot at him. They would sign him at the remainder of his current contract ($2.4 million prorated for the rest of the season). With $5 million in salary cap space, the financials work. They could also let him pass through waivers and attempt to sign him as a free agent, but would have to compete with the other 29 teams.
It’s rare that such a young player hits the waiver wire. Fredette is only 25 years old and in his third season. The Kings made the rare decision to decline the team’s option for Fredette’s 4th year. The buyout only confirms that they’ve given up on him. Their lack of faith could be Orlando’s opportunity.
The Magic once had a young player with a strikingly similar profile to Jimmer. JJ Redick was a college star who shot the long ball better than almost anyone else. His lack of size and speed made him a liability on defense early in his NBA career and kept him glued to the bench. Sound familiar Jimmer?
But a funny thing happened. The Magic developed Redick into an above average starting shooting guard and key contributor on playoff teams. There’s reason to believe they can do it again with Fredette.
First, it’s important to point out how much Fredette has already improved. His minutes have decreased in each of his three years in the league, but his shooting percentages continue to improve. As a rookie he shot 38.6% from the field and 36.1% from three. This year he’s nailing 47.5% of his field goal attempts and 49.3% from three. That’s almost half his shots!
He’s also getting better at creating his own shot. Only 50% of his threes and 20.7 percent of his twos are assisted. That’s down from 59% and 37.2% as a rookie. But if you want him to camp out and take corner threes, that’s ok too. He’s hitting 88.9% of his corner threes this year. (All stats from basketballreference.com)
His PER this year is an above average 16.7, better than any number Redick put up until this year. Given Redick’s steady growth. There’s no reason The Magic couldn’t attempt the same development with Jimmer.
What do you think? Should the Magic be involved with the Jimmer Fredette buyout? Let us know in the comments section below! Want more Magic? Sign up for our super-duper newsletter!