Hopes were raised in the preseason when Jimmer Fredette put up big numbers and a chance to show what he could do on the offensive end. He showed that He could put the ball in the bucket at a high rate (but we already knew that), and that he could be a spark for any offense.
Even though he showed is skills off for a new squad, I was very skeptical as to what would happen once the season started. After all, we had seen it all play out before when he was a member of the Sacramento Kings. He would play well during the preseason only to find a seat on the bench when the games actually mattered.
Everyone thought it would be different this time, however. A new city, a new team and a new coach who said that he would have the green light. Sadly, my fears were dead on. Fredette has had neither the green light or the time to show if he can truly compete as a member of the Pelicans.
He has shown flashes when given meaningful time on the floor, but that hasn’t happened since he landed with the Pelicans. The first game of the season started out with some promise as he played more than 17 minutes. The problem was he missed all six of his shots, including three from behind the arc. The assumption was that he would have a chance to have a better shooting night in the games to come, but he never did. He made exactly 7 of 15 shots over the next 10 games (which included five DNP’s). Not what I would call the “Green Light.”
Some hope that Fredette would play returned when starting shooting guard Eric Gordon was sidelined with an injury, but minutes never materialized even though the Pelicans don’t have many wing guards on the roster.
Since then, his role and opportunity has diminished even more. He is no longer in the 10-man rotation having fallen behind a player who was picked up only days ago (Gal Mekel). Fredette has seen only limited minutes, even in garbage time as the Pelicans have been a part of a few recent blowouts. Consequently, Mekel has played 35 minutes in three games and has done anything but light the world on fire. In fact, he has totaled two points on 1 of 14 shooting, but has handed out 11 assists.
Another DNP on Tuesday night in a 104-93 win over the dreadful New York Knicks gave Fredette eight games on the bench in 20 games this season. Now the question needs to be asked whether or not he will ever get a chance under Monty Williams or if he will spend the season languishing on the bench.
Not what anyone hoped for him when he left BYU as the all-time leading scorer or even when he inked a deal over the summer to play for New Orleans.