Fredette surprises Knicks fans, signed with a Playoff-bound team in Chicago

Many thought that after Jimmer Fredette reach a buyout with Sacramento, he is bound to be a Knick.

But Knicks fans were shocked when Fredette signed with the Chicago Bulls.

Sources said that Fredette officially cleared waivers Saturday and has agreed to sign with the Bulls for a prorated portion of the veteran’s minimum contract. 

Fredette is shooting a career-best 49.3 percent from 3-point range and is expected to attend Sunday's matinee against his former suitor, the Knicks.

BYU Standout

Fredette became a nationwide phenomenon during his time at BYU, averaging 28.9 points per game in 2010-11 and winning all three major NCAA Player of the Year awards: the AP, John Wooden and James Naismith.

He was selected No. 10 overall in the 2011 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks and immediately traded to the Kings in a three-team draft-night deal.

But the collegiate scoring sensation never gained the trust of the coaching staff in Sacramento. He started only seven games in his three NBA seasons, despite the wretched overall state of the team.

After it was announced that the Kings would buy him out, B/R's Adam Fromal posited that Fredette could become a hot commodity on the open market.

"Intrigued by his incredible talent from beyond the arc and the untapped nature of his game, plenty of teams will come calling once the buyout is completed," he said.

Indeed, Fredette has shown ample three-point range in limited time this season, shooting 49.3 percent from beyond the arc in only 463 total minutes.

Thibodeau's Role

Perhaps he is right to feel excited about his future. If anyone can get the best out of Fredette, it's Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. Though he is known primarily as a defensive coach, Thibodeau resurrected the careers of journeyman guards Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli during the 2012-13 season. Both players had big moments for the undermanned Bulls in the 2013 playoffs. This season he revived guard DJ Augustin's career.

Fredette's new potential teammate, Bulls big man Taj Gibson, sounded excited to team up with the guard in Chicago.

"I've seen that [Jimmer's] got talent. It's just that the team that he was on, he never really got a chance to do much because they've got the characters on that team where they don't seem too serious... Playing on strict, good teams kind of brings the best out of a player." said the back-up big man of the Bulls.

History might be repeating itself in Chicago. Once again, the Bulls are set to make the playoffs despite a slew of injuries. And now Thibodeau has another scorer with untapped potential.

Don't be surprised if the fans in the United Center are chanting for Jimmer in the 2014 postseason.

The Bulls hope Fredette will provide them with what they desperately need: scoring.
"The more shooting you have, the more it opens up the floor," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We want to open things up to attack off the dribble, with our cuts, things of that nature. We feel that is an area of need."
Fredette, seeking to revive his career heading into free agency, can point to how the Bulls helped resurrect D.J. Augustin, whom the Raptors dumped. Since joining the Bulls, Augustin is averaging 13.4 points and 5.5 rebounds in 30.6 minutes.
"There are a number of guys who are good, and sometimes, as you see with D.J., it's an opportunity to step in and add to what a team may need," Thibodeau said. "Whoever we sign, if we do sign someone, we want to play to their strengths and cover up their weaknesses."
The 6-foot-2 Fredette is not a strong defender, but the last time he got extensive minutes, Feb. 12 at Madison Square Garden, he torched the Knicks for 24 points on 6-for-8 shooting from 3-point range.
Guard Kirk Hinrich said adding a top-flight shooter such as Fredette would make defenses "play honest."
The Bulls entered Friday night 27th in 3-point shooting (34.1 percent), 28th in field-goal shooting (42.7 percent) and last in scoring (92.7 ppg).
--- with reports from

Fredette surprises Knicks fans, signed with a Playoff-bound team in Chicago Fredette surprises Knicks fans, signed with a Playoff-bound team in Chicago Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on on 3/02/2014 Rating: 5

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