NBA Rumor: Jimmer Fredette Free Agency

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Jimmer Fredette announced via a social media video featuring his two kids that he will join the Shanghai Sharks for a second stint after his three-year run in China’s CBA between 2016 and 2019. The former BYU star made his way to Europe and signed a two-year deal with Panathinaikos OPAP last summer but was let go due to financial restrictions stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. It was reported by Sportando that he was expected to return to the Sharks.

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Jimmer Fredette a free agent

Roster adjustments are underway at Panathinaikos OPAP. The new era recently officially launched will not include Jimmer Fredette, confirmed newly appointed team president Takis Triantopoulos on Friday’s press conference about the new season. “We don’t have anything new about him,” he mentioned referring to the status of the 31-year-old American guard, “He is informed that he is free to go, his agent also knows this and he is on the market for a new team. We are waiting for any new development.”

How big of a deal are Americans (like former teammate Jimmer Fredette) out there? Derrick Williams: He’s super big out here. He’s very successful and there are guys that are superstars out here. He might not be an NBA All-Star or anything like that but it’s a great opportunity to get your confidence up, too. They love Americans out here. They love basketball in general. We bring the NBA identity and they feed off it. I know he’s had different people call him from NBA teams but he’s been excellent.

Near the end of the season, Jimmer scored 73 points in one game and was named the league’s most valuable player. None of it seems to have impressed the NBA, which is something that still rankles Al. He can cite you chapter and verse on a wide variety of statistics that show Jimmer could be a force in the NBA. If anyone would know, it would be Al. A couple teams offered Jimmer 10-day contracts when he returned, but Jimmer was content to stay home with Whitney and their new daughter, Wesley. Mother and daughter are doing fine.

He can make millions in endorsements in China. With 1.3 billion people in a country that often looks to the West for its cultural influences, China is a blank slate for Fredette, especially if he signs another contract with Shanghai. And that’s where things get complicated. While it is clear that Fredette has loved his time in China, he has never let go of the NBA. Though he only played six NBA games in 2015-16 and was released twice, he still believes he can not only make an NBA roster but also stick with a team and make significant contributions. He has tempered old expectations of stardom and 20-point nights to push a role as a sixth man, what he calls “an energy-type guy who can come off the bench and score the basketball.”

“That’s a great question,” Fredette said when asked about the NBA. “I’m not 100 percent sure. Obviously, I’m from the USA and the NBA is the greatest league in the world, and if I have the opportunity to play in the NBA that’s where I would love to play. “But China is a great opportunity. The fans have been great to me, more than I can imagine, especially in such a short amount of time. It’s a good league over there, and there are some changes coming, good changes for the league, and I think there’s an amazing opportunity to make a great living, to make a lot of money.”

Deseret News: Is a long-term stay in China a possibility? Jimmer Fredette: It’s something that I really haven’t though about a ton yet. I hope to have some good options when the offseason comes — that’s the hope for me and for my family. I think we’ve put ourselves in a good position to have some good options everywhere in the world and we’ll see what happens. China’s been fun, it’s been great. Shanghai has been an awesome city, and I’m excited to continue to play and to see what happens this season. Hopefully we make a good run in the playoffs and then worry about all of that after the season is over.

Jimmer Fredette: They expect the imports over there to go out and score and really be efficient and help the team win. That’s what they want and we have been fortunate enough that we have a really good team and have played really well. We are in first place at this point so things have gone well and obviously, I’m playing a lot more in China than I ever did in the NBA so I have the ball in my hands a lot more. Playing a lot more, getting into a comfortable rhythm being able to go out there, night in and night out and play consistent minutes.

Rambis alluded to potentially signing a younger player recently waived with an eye on next season, too. “Yes, yes, yes,’’ Rambis said. “Management is collecting [names], that’s what they’re doing. [They’re] talking about guys, thinking about guys, not only for this season [but] bringing guys in they might want to hold onto and bring them to summer league next year and work out during the summer. There are a lot of names floating around out there.’’

The Knicks have an open roster spot and can use a point guard, but are waiting to see how the deadline shakes out. Fredette’s agents have been in contact with a few teams, not just the Knicks. “I feel I’ve definitely proven I can still play and provide something for a team out there,’’ Fredette told The Post in a phone interview Tuesday morning. “I’ve shown that. And I’m definitely confident if I do get an opportunity, I’ll be able to produce. The D-League has helped me to get better and develop as a basketball player. I hope there’ll be a team that takes notice and gives me a chance.’’

The Knicks have an open roster spot and can use a point guard, but are waiting to see how the deadline shakes out. Fredette’s agents have been in contact with a few teams, not just the Knicks. “I feel I’ve definitely proven I can still play and provide something for a team out there,’’ Fredette told The Post in a phone interview Tuesday morning. “I’ve shown that. And I’m definitely confident if I do get an opportunity, I’ll be able to produce. The D-League has helped me to get better and develop as a basketball player. I hope there’ll be a team that takes notice and gives me a chance.’’

Westchester president Allan Houston, a former Knicks star, said Fredette’s D-League goals are to be efficient offensively and to improve defensively. “He came in right away with a lot of humility,” Houston told Yahoo Sports. “Early on, he was trying to figure out the system a little. He has acclimated to his teammates and he knew he would have an impact right away. He put a lot on himself early. But as time went on, what I’ve been impressed with is how he’s kind of settled in and not had to do so much. He’s been efficient. He’s been productive. His strength is playing without the ball in his hands as much. He’s competing defensively.”

Whether it has been lack of opportunity or belief from his coaches, not enough playing time or not enough shots, the fundamental truth is that Fredette is an undersized shooting guard with one NBA skill: shooting. There simply aren’t many players in that predicament who stick around for even as long as Fredette has. “He has skills, but he’s a high-volume guy,” one Eastern Conference executive said. “What team is going to be able to give him the kind of volume he needs to be effective? Because if he’s not getting the volume of shots he needs to score enough to help you, what else is he doing?”
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