According to David Aldridge of NBA.com, Jimmer Fredette is leaning toward signing with the Chicago Bulls once he clears waivers on Saturday afternoon which begs the question, how will Jimmer fit in? With that in mind, I have decided to breakdown the Bulls roster to let you know how Fredette will fit in with Chicago.
The Bulls are a defensive team who struggles to score at times. And when I say, at times, I mean all of the time. In fact, they are the lowest scoring team in the NBA averaging just 92.9 points a game according to basketball-reference.com. One of the main reasons they have a hard time scoring is because they aren’t blessed with a lot of great shooters. As a team, the Bulls shot 42.7 percent from the floor and a mere 34.1 percent from 3-point range. There is no doubt that Fredette can help them improve both of those numbers.
As for playing time; Chicago has basically used four guards extensively since the loss of Derrick Rose early in the year. Kirk Hinrich starts at the point and plays about 29 minutes a night. He is a solid lead guard who doesn’t look to score much, but does a great job on the defensive end. He has really struggled with his shot this season making 37.8 percent from the field and just 31.1 percent from behind the arc. He is spelled by D.J. Augustin. Augustin was picked up after Toronto cut him due to the trade for Greivis Vasquez. He has played extremely well coming off the bench for the Bulls. He plays more than 30 minutes a contest and in averaging 13.4 points and 5.5 assists. Augustin hasn’t shot the ball well from the field, coming in at just under 40 percent, but is making 41.3 percent of his three’s. At the two spot, Chicago relies on Jimmy Butler to play big minutes. He is a great defender who can do a little bit of everything, other than shoot. In nearly 37 minutes a game, Butler averages 12.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.9 steals. As for his shooting percentages, they go a little something like this: 39 percent from the floor while attempting around 10 shots and 28.1 percent from long-range on 3.3 shots a game. His backup is rookie Tony Snell from New Mexico. Snell plays about 20 minutes a night, but like the other Bulls’ guards, has had a hard time making baskets. He shoots 38.6 percent from the floor and 33.5 percent from three. If nothing else, Jimmer should be able to find minutes purely as a shooter.
The Bulls really need an outside threat to spread the floor and create more space for the Chicago big men, and Jimmer can no doubt provide that. Even with their poor outside shooting and difficulty scoring the ball, Chicago is still one of the top teams in the east. I can see Jimmer playing a similar role to that of Nate Robinson from a year ago. Instant offense in short bursts to open up leads or bring the Bulls back. I don’t think he will have as much success as Robinson did however, because he doesn’t have the quickness to get to all the places Nate did. I also think he can be used to benefit Carlos Boozer a great deal. Boozer sees a lot of double teams from the top side because of the lack of outside shooting. You could put Jimmer on the same side of Boozer and alleviate that problem.
Although I don’t think Chicago is the top fit for Fredette because he is not a great two-way player, he will surely be able to help them out on the offensive end of the floor as the Bulls make a push to get home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.