Does Jimmer Fredette Want To Be Just Another NBA Player Or A Super Star In China?

Mar 22, 2019, 9:17 PM
Jimmer Fredette #7 of the Sacramento Kings at American Airlines Center on December 10, 2012 in Dall...
Jimmer Fredette #7 of the Sacramento Kings at American Airlines Center on December 10, 2012 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Former BYU star Jimmer Fredette is back in the NBA by signing a two-year contract with the Phoenix Suns, but is he really better off chasing the NBA dream or should he stay in China where he is revered?

Fredette already is one of the best players in the Chinese Basketball Association with the Shanghai Sharks by being one of the top scorers in the league, he has earned an international MVP award and has a shoe deal. Being a star in China is one thing but the NBA is the ultimate goal for any elite basketball player, so when a chance comes up to get back to the league, Fredette has to jump on it.

His time in the NBA was not as great for the former 2010 NBA Draft lottery pick. He bounced around with the Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, and the New York Knicks. None of those NBA stints amounted to anything special as Fredette averaged only 13.4 minutes and six points per game.

In China, he has stability knowing he will be with his team for the whole year and not having to wonder on any given day that he would have to pack up his bags when an NBA team no longer needs his services.

Plus, Fredette makes a solid salary in the CBA of approximately $1.8 million per year and that is in the same neighborhood of what he would earn in the NBA with his experience. Also, don’t forget that he has a shoe deal with 361 in China to add to his bottom line.

What Can Jimmer show The Suns In Just A Few Weeks?

Fredette’s contract with Phoenix is essentially a tryout for the rest of this season as the second year of his deal is a team option, so these final games are extremely important. KSL Sports Scott Mitchell wonders how much can he prove by playing on one of the worst teams in the NBA.

“What is he really going to show in 10 games on a really bad team that will be in major flux next year?” Mitchell said on KSL’s Unrivaled. “So, what is he really going to show in 10 games? Let’s just say he signs for two years and now he is chasing his tail around in the NBA for a couple of years. … So, why do that and mess up the apple cart?”

Fredette has it really good with fame and fortune overseas, but it is not the NBA. Even for how Western-ized Shanghai is and how many speak english, it is not America and it is not the NBA. Also, his family would rather be in America and not have to be separated by the Pacific Ocean for a good portion of the year.

For him to get a fair shake the rest of the season it would make a whole lot of sense for the Suns to allow Fredette to see plenty minutes to get a real look at what he can do in the NBA. If the Suns do not give Fredette court time to scout him then what was the point of bringing him in.

KSL Sports Alex Kirry is not so sure what Fredette should do and can see both paths compelling.

“I am conflicted on this. I was caught up with Jimmer-mania like everyone else, but I don’t know,” Kirry said on KSL’s Unrivaled. “In my mind, if he was NBA caliber we would have already seen it. What we have seen is a guy who can definitely make threes at any level. Fitting in a system somewhere has always been the knock, but the reality is being in the ‘right system’ is missing in this case. If I am Jimmer Fredette, I don’t know if I don’t want to leave the stardom of China.”

Perhaps the Suns system is the one that will fit with Fredette’s skill set. Phoenix likes to run and shoot from beyond the arc and that does fit into what Fredette does well on the court.

More on Jimmer Fredette to Suns:

Jimmer Grateful For Second Chance.

It is now official that Fredette is back in the NBA with the Suns and he spoke to local media and like that he is getting another chance in the NBA.

“Not a lot of times do guys get second chances, second opportunities, especially at 30 years old,” Fredette said after his first practice with the Suns. “So I’m grateful for the opportunity. I realize that.”

Fredette was asked what is different about his game this time around compared to the last time he was in the NBA.

“For me, for sure (I improved) being able to play off the ball,” he said. “That’s something I didn’t do a ton in college … I put a real focus on being able to do that, because you know, in the NBA, they kind of had me playing both. I had to continue to work on that part of my game. I’ve gotten, really, much better at that.”

Fredette’s first game is a return to play the Sacramento Kings on Saturday which is the team that drafted him. Then on Monday, the Suns will come to Salt Lake City to play the Utah Jazz.

Tune into KSL’s Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or download the KSL NewsRadio app to subscribe to the podcast.

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