While following the pro career of Jimmer Fredette, I have been asked on numerous occasions what it would take for him to be successful in the NBA. After watching him closely for the past few years, that answer seems clear to me.
For Fredette, the first thing he needs is to be on a team that runs a system that fits his game (if he gets another deal in the NBA). He will only work in certain systems – at least on a level where he can be successful.
He has to play on a run-and-gun team that loves to push the ball, that can get out in the open floor to create good looks. The walk it up the floor, slow down style just doesn’t fit his game.
The second thing he needs is the green light. When asked to be a backup point guard and facilitate the offense he’s fine, but that’s not what he excels at. Yet for whatever reason that has been the role he has been asked to play. He needs to be able to come off the bench and attack. He needs to have the ball in his hands with the mentality to go and get buckets. He needs to play the role of someone like Isaiah Thomas with the Boston Celtics, D.J. Augustin with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Lou Williams with the Toronto Raptors or Rodney Stuckey with the Indiana Pacers. He needs to be that bench spark. That instant offense. That game changer.
Make no mistake, Fredette still has the ability to do that. After all, he has shown those flashes when given the chance. In fact, he has scored in double figures in every game that he has played at least 20 minutes over the last three seasons except two (he scored nine points in each of those games). In those 22 games, he averaged 13.18 points. That’s instant offense. Every team needs a guy like that yet very few rosters have one.
The third, and probably most important thing that he needs is a coach who believes in his abilities. Someone who is willing to give him a chance to stay on the floor even on those nights when he struggles to make shots. Someone who will make him a key piece of the offensive rotation and allow him to do what he does best: score the ball.
If Fredette can land in a spot that provides him those three things then there is no doubt that he can be a very valuable piece to a roster and have a successful NBA career moving forward.