Jimmer Fredette: Production vs. potential

Jimmer Fredette’s college dominance and seemingly moderate NBA ceiling raises the question as to what holds more stock, college production or pro potential?

Ideally, there’s a happy medium. But with Fredette, it’s tough to project how his nation-leading 28.9 points per game, yet lack of lateral quickness and NBA speed will project at the pro level.

On one hand, Fredette’s ridiculous range alone makes him worthy of any roster spot. He’s also proven he can fill it up inside of the arc, while hitting spot-up shooters.

Then add in that Fredette is the definition of a gamer, as well as a leader on the floor and it’s tough to find a bad thing about the former BYU star. But then the questions of potential and athleticism kick in.

Will he ever be more than a three-point specialist? Does he have good enough point guard skills to put together a long and successful career as a floor general? Can he defend bigger and quicker NBA guards?

Based on potential alone, Fredette isn’t a lottery pick. There isn’t much room to grow and with his size (6-foot-2) and athletic ability it’s hard to imagine him turning into an All-Star point guard.

But at the same time, it’s impossible to ignore what he did in college. He took NCAA basketball by storm with his deep triples and good-guy image. Fredette brought a swagger to BYU (which is hard to do) while cementing his name as one of college basketball’s greats.

His work ethic, pedigree and current skill-set say he’ll have a long, successful NBA career. As Lance Blanks said, Fredette “checks all the positive boxes as an NBA point guard.”

But his moderate ceiling suggest the growth will stop there, which begs the question: Is he worth the 13th pick in the NBA Draft? Blanks said it himself, if Jimmer’s available, it’s going to be tough to pass him up.

With Steve Nash nearing the end of his career and Aaron Brooks nowhere near capable of point guard of the future status, Jimmer undoubtedly has to be considered.

He’d quickly become a fan favorite, while continuing Phoenix’s nice-guy image it’s held since Nash took the driver’s seat. Jimmer would certainly fit in the Suns’ offense as well with his three-point stroke and passing ability. Director of player personnel John Treloar even thinks Fredette can play defense at the next level.

“The quickness and the strength he has allow him to stay in front of guys for the short spaces,” Treloar said. “The biggest challenge will be the full-speed, 94-foot guys. But in the half-court, I think he’s going to be able to guard people.”

So why not draft Jimmer? With the draft everything’s circumstantial based on who’s available. But for Phoenix, Fredette’s defensive deficiencies couples with his suggested low ceiling make him a questionable pick at 13.

The Suns want to become more defensive-minded, while landing a potential superstar or go-to guy they could possibly build a franchise around down the road.

With his legendary shooting ability and popularity Fredette would be a draw and potentially a very nice NBA point guard down the road. But he doesn’t have the upside that a team that’s on the verge of rebuilding should be looking for.

Michael Schwartz contributed to this report.

Tags: Draft Jimmer Fredette Nba Draft

  • Brent Jackson

    You seem like you really don’t know what you are talking about. You stated: But with Fredette, it’s tough to project how his nation-leading 28.9 points per game, yet lack of lateral quickness and NBA speed will project at the pro level.

    If you paid attention to Jimmer, you would know that he has better than average lateral quickness and actually tested out as one of the top players athletically in the combine. To compare his athletic results, he is faster than D-Will and moves laterally faster than Chris Paul. I would say he is much better than you give him credit for. Next time, please pay attention to what is really going on vs what peoples opinions are.

  • Jason Dewitt

    How can you be this clueless? In athletic test after athletic test over the last 6 weeks, he has tested as one of the top athletes in the draft, ahead of even Kemba Walker and Brandon Knight. In every workout thus far, he has impressed teams’ brass with athleticism and specifically, lateral quickness. You’re embarassing yourself!

  • John

    Dear Phoenix fans,

    Unfortunately, Jimmer won’t be available at 13. Good luck with Biyombo, he will greatly improve your D-League team.

  • Robo

    John, I hate you, but that was pretty funny.

    Combine shmombine. DJ Strwaberry and Nate Robinson were winners of “most athletic” at the combines and where did it get them? They still couldn’t play defense very well. Just because you are athletic doesn’t make you a good defender (but in Nash’s case, more athleticism would certainly help).

    I’m not sold on Jimmer, but I am not unsold either. I kind of hope he goes before 13 so we don’t have to play that game.

  • Jesus

    The good news for Phoenix fans: you won’t have to worry about this dilemma because there’s no chance he will be available at 13.

    I agree with Brent btw. Jimmer was 3rd overall in Lane Agility drills at the combine and 2nd in the modified drill. I’m not sure how else you can measure lateral quickness, but that seems to be a solid enough measurement.

    Also, the guy just played against Kemba Walker, and by all accounts more than held his own. Fredette’s going to be a solid pro, ala Mark Price.

  • Daniel

    Ya this article sucks. Poor research and bad info. Kinda contradictory. Just wanted to add my name to the already disappointed few.

    Chances are, Jimmer will not be available at 13. If he is then Phoenix is stupid not to take him. There are only three, maybe four players that would be better for Phoenix than Jimmer, and they certainly will be gone by 13.

    And like always, we make so many judgements about drafts and we are often wrong (Nash). So we will all have to wait until season starts to see. Harden got ripped a lot by people before the draft and he worked out well for the Thunder.

  • http://espn.com Rob

    Trade up for Kemba Walker someway somehow. Jimmer may be a great NBA player, but Kemba is a beast.

    PS No one says swagger anymore, it’s swag. and Kemba’s got it in spades.

  • Keith

    Agree with comments above on Jimmer. He would be perfect for us, but probably will not be around at 13. We should dangle Pietrus, chilly, warrick, and see if someone in the 7-10 range will trade with us, possibly something like Hamilton and the #8 for Pietrus, Warrick, and the 13.

    Kemba is another Aaron Brooks. We don’t need him. Get Jimmer, Alec Burks, or Marshon Brooks.

  • Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    Ok Chily’s contract is not attractive in terms of trade bait. Warrick isn’t that easy on the eyes either.

    Far as those agility tests go, okay wow he’s top 5 this year in a draft that isn’t full of the quickest guys and even further down the line in the NBA. Its not a good measuring stick in the grand scheme. It is “aight” in testing this year. That isn’t that impressive.

    None of that matters anyway. If he is there at 13 PHX will take him without a doubt.

  • Bill

    Ditto to all the above +s on Jimmer. Hope the other 12 teams above the Suns are as deluded as Mike is.

  • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Mike Schmitz

    Those saying there aren’t stats to back anything up, watch the video above it’s filled with stats and evidence, which is why the article is more supplemental.

    Also, I agree with Rich Anthony in that his combine stats really mean nothing because not many quick point guards even did the drills. To say that Jimmer is as quick and agile as other point guards in this draft and in the league is flat out wrong.

    Even John Treloar said Jimmer is going to struggle defensively in the full court due to his lack of speed.

    He’s a great shooter, was a tremendous college player and a great kid, but that doesn’t always equal great NBA player. And to say he’ll definitely be gone by 13 is wrong as well. The only team in the lottery outside of Utah that would take him is PHX.

  • Nathan

    Sacremento has their eyes all over Jimmer with their #7 pick. He’d be a better fit next to Tyreke Evans than Walker, and he’s being highly praised by their staff. The owners(the Maloof’s) are apparently in love with him, too.

  • Keith

    Yes. Agreed. There is a good chance Sactown would take him. I also think it’s possible at 8 with the Pistons and 10 to the Bucks, esp the Bucks. They need scoring and he can do that. And they’re in Milwaukee. Perfect for a white guy. They are also not enamored of Brandon Jennings, who can’t even shoot 40 percent and doesnt get many assists. They’d love to find someone who could make him expendable if he pans out.

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com Mike Schmitz

    Great insight here from Jimmer on the Suns workout. Released today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpeCFPojpUw

  • Steve

    The Jimmer loyalists are hilarious, and I assume most of you bashing this article are just that.

    Jimmer is NOT going to be an elite NBA defender. He probably won’t even be good. I don’t know of a single scout who has said otherwise. Does he NEED to be a good defender to be a good PG? No. Suns fans know that better than anyone else. There aren’t a whole lot of PGs period who can be considered great defenders, and any that I can think of are oversized (which Jimmer is not).

    Get off the Jimmer Juice and see him for what he is.

  • http://espn.com Rob

    Isn’t Jimmer Fredette just a worse version of JJ Reddick? Destined to be a decent rotation player in 4 years?

    Keith – not sure if you’ve seen Kemba play basketball if you think he is another Aaron Brooks. The college stats may be similar, but it’s like comparing an NBA players stats with a D-leaguer’s stats. Or more accurately a Big East player’s stats to a Pac-10 player’s stats.

  • Ryan

    Sometimes you just go with your gut….What I like most about the guy is you know he’s gonna give a crap….that’s really what we love about the Steve Nash’s, Jared Dudley’s, and Grant Hill’s. No doubt Jimmer has that intangable. Setting his ceiling at moderate IMO is selling him short.

  • Steve

    @Rob- Brandon Roy was a Pac-10 player, let’s just name a few other good Pac-10 guys off the top of my head:

    Arenas, Igoudala, Kidd, Frye (maybe good, maybe not), Westbrook, Jason Terry, Bibby, Richard Jefferson…. to go back a little bit, let’s throw on Kevin Johnson and Gary Payton.

    The Pac 10 has the highest average number of players in the NBA per team. The ACC has the most total players in the NBA (So get off your Big East bias train, it’s wrecking). The Pac 10 is third, barely behind the ACC (12 teams), and the Big East (16 teams).

    Basically, you couldn’t be more wrong to bash the Pac 10 for not being able to produce great NBA talent with the likes of conferences like the Big East. It’s a total fabrication.

    I’m happy to inform you, though. Hopefully you’ll realize how wrong you are.

  • D Evertsen

    Mike –
    Your comment “But with Fredette, it’s tough to project how his nation-leading 28.9 points per game, yet lack of lateral quickness and NBA speed will project at the pro level” indicates that you are one of many who continue to perpetuate this myth in light if his combine results (speed, lateral skills test scores), and franchise workouts.

    I stopped reading when I realized you were an idiot.

    Next time, do your homework – until then – move to New Mexico.

  • Marley

    Hoot! Hoot!

    JJ Barea is a FREE-AGENT!

    Suns better act quick!

    Dump Nash for JJ Barea.

    Chandler is also a FREE AGENT!

    Dump Gortat for Tyson Chandler!

    If the Suns do this, they will be champs next year!


  • Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    28.9 PPG. On and on and on. That’s all I ever hear.

    Accomplished on a team where he had a Mike D’Antoni green-light where there really was no choice but to allow him to Allen Iverson it in order to win.

    He launched 3s from the moon and that’s great, but most times he didn’t have what it took to constantly blow by even average players at that level, (and no I’m not talking about the few crossover drives on highlight packages).

    Nash can’t defend but his left-footed first step off the screen is deadly. He can’t dunk it anymore but his scoop layups allow him to finish by stretching.

    Jimmer has the range, but can he attack for 38 minutes a game after Nash is gone? Keep in mind that is why he will be drafted. If you ask me who I would want more post-Nash I’d still take Dragon over Jimmer.

    So now you want him to score as an alternative at the 2. He is not quick, and at the 2, Kobe is watching him. Wade is on him. LBJ. Rondo. If he is the primary threat, then he will draw the most attention from the best wing defender. He has what it takes to blaze them every night?

    Whatever. Give me Jordan or Tristan.

  • rebounding

    draft Kenneth Faried please

  • Random New Guy From UT

    This article sucks. Jimmer is the best college player ever by far.

    I once saw him run a 40-yard dash in 3.2 seconds… sideways.

    The list him at 6’2″, some people say he’s 6’3/4″ (like NBA scouts, but what do they know), but he’s actually closer to Jason Kidd’s size than Chris Paul’s.

    He’s going to be a great defender in the NBA. Did you see that one random play with 7:36 left in the first half against New Mexico where Jimmer got tripped and beat at the perimeter, caught back up to his man who was on a straight line to the hoop, skied over 7 other guys, and literally rejected the ball down the man’s throat?

    His coach told him not to play defense. His coach also told him not to have sex, do drugs, or drink, and he was able to do what his coach told him in those instances, so if his NBA coach tells him to acquire the skill set of Michael Jordan, I’m sure he’ll be able to do it.

    Guys, Jimmer is a once-in-a-lifetime phenom. He’s going to be the biggest star this world has ever seen.

  • GOsuns

    DRaft jordan hamilton please, I like jimmer but I dont know about him being nash’s successor plus we dont need another young big to invest in and develop at this current point I would trade pietrus also, hamilton backs up dudley and childress backs up hill

  • http://espn.com Rob

    Steve – Basically you just named a bunch of Arizona players that are now in the NBA. Maybe I used hyperbole when describing how much better the Big East was than the Pac-10.

    The real point was that Kemba Walker is not another Aaron Brooks like Keith said. If Kemba was on Arizona rather than UConn I believe a Pac-10 team would have won the title. You need to cool down your Pac-10 bias. Arizona is still a great basketball school even if they are not in the Big East or ACC.

    And why was Brandon Roy your number 1 example?

    So, sorry I offended your fav conference. Like you said, they are the third best conference. I’m glad we can agree on that.

  • Steve

    More UCLA players than any other school in NCAA basketball. Again, you’re just sadly ignorant. Kemba was a great college player. I’m not denying that. The big east is definitely top 3 in producing NBA talent, but all of the top 3 are essentially even. Just accept facts. You’re wrong for bashing the package 10, ypie wrong for assuming it’s a one trick pony. You’re just wrong.

  • Steve

    haha, my phone is being super glitchy. Hopefully you can understand what I was trying to say.

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com Mike Schmitz
  • Steve

    But Jimmer is the best, Mike. Why would they say that?

    He can’t play defense? He never tried in college (for the record, I don’t see how this is a legitimate defense) and his coach told him not to worry about it too much (again, I don’t see how this is a legitimate defense).

    Jimmer on the bench? He’s going to be an all-star his rookie season, just you wait and see. What do basketball scouts know anyway?

  • Lloyd I. Cadle

    If Jimmer is there at 13, the Suns should take him. He will prove to fill two needs; point guard and shooter.

  • dan

    kemba walker is as much of a defensive liability as fredette. He is 6’1 and weighs 170 pounds. teams will just send their point guard to the post and kill him down there. Plus walker isn’t exactly a pure point guard either.

  • Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    So let’s see if we can move this along. Say we draft Jimmer.

    1) He’s coming off the bench.

    2) Off the bench, what is he? The 1? (I like Dowdell better than him running the point off the bench).
    The 2? If he is the 2, then he is going to have to do a lot of moving without the ball. Lots of catching and shooting, but at the same time he’s going to have to guard some BIG guards unless they Steve Nash him and hide him on a perimeter guy who never moves.

    3) Most people aren’t sold on JMZ being the starting 2.
    Drafting Jimmer would most likely mean that in order to contend right now wed have to acquire a 2 AND a 4.
    That means a good player we do have has to go and a lot of future rebuilding draft picks have to go.

    That’s a lot.

    If he is there and Hamilton is there at 13, Jordan has to be picked.

    The ONLY OTHER scenario I can put up is this.

    If he’s there, and they take Jimmer, then Nash, (if healthy and in MVP mode), is moved at the trade deadline for a mother load of assets and Jimmer is given the keys to the car after riding shotgun for a few months.

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  • far

    This video is no available outside de USA please change de music

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