Now that Jimmer Fredette has finally cleared waivers and has signed with Chicago, here is a look at how he will fit in for the playoff-bound Bulls.
The Bulls are a defensive team who struggles to score at times. 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, Fredette 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 Fredette 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. Fredette could possibly play 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. He may not have as much success as Robinson did however, because he doesn’t have the quickness to create the same kind of space that Robinson did offensively.
Fredette can also be used to benefit Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson a great deal. They both see a lot of double teams from the top side because of the lack of outside shooting. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau could put Fredette on the same side of either Boozer or Gibson and alleviate that problem.
Although Chicago isn’t the perfect fit for Fredette, it is about as close as he can get to it at this point in his career. He will surely be able to help them out on the offensive end of the floor and his defensive deficiencies wont be a huge problem either because the Bulls play fantastic team defense. Fredette should be a nice addition for Chicago as it makes a push to get home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.