A story on NBAwire.com is reporting that Jimmer Fredette is in San Antonio today with plenty of speculation that he could be a target for the Spurs.
While it is still up in the air if he will ink a deal, I’ve decided to look and see if there is roster spot, if he’s a fit and if there are minutes available should he get an offer and sign on the dotted line.
Is there a roster spot?
The Spurs have already made a ton of moves this off-season. They have added LaMarcus Aldridge, David West, Boban Marjanovic, Jonathon Simmons and Ray McCallum while keeping Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, Danny Green and Matt Bonner in the fold.
As part of a hectic summer, San Antonio also lost plenty of talent following a disappointing first round exit at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers. Gone are Aron Baynes, Marco Belinelli and Cory Joseph via free agency and Tiago Splitter in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks.
That gives the Spurs 14 guaranteed contracts on the books heading into the 2015-16 season. And that’s if they don’t bring in former first-round pick Livio Jean-Charles (who played with the Spurs in the Utah summer league) or 2015 draft choices Nikola Milutinov or Cady Lalanne.
In short, that gives San Antonio exactly one roster spot available to bring in another player.
Is Jimmer a fit?
There isn’t much room at the point guard spot, but I don’t think San Antonio would bring Fredette in to run the point exclusively (if at all). While they lost Joseph to the Toronto Raptors, the Spurs still have Tony Parker and Patty Mills to run the show and also brought in McCallum from the Sacramento Kings.
However, the Spurs coud use another shooter with the departure of Belinelli to the Sacramento Kings. While his 3-point numbers from his lone season in New Orleans didn’t show it (18.8 percent on 48 attempts), Fredette can really shoot the basketball. He is a 38.1 percent from beyond the arc during his NBA career, including 47.6 percent just two years ago. He is also deadly from the free-throw line where he shot 95.6 percent for the Pelicans in 2014-15.
Are there minutes available?
Minutes would definitely be hard to come by even for a coach who doesn’t lean on his stars heavily during the regular season. San Antonio already has Parker, Mills, McCallum and summer league MVP Kyle Anderson to play the one as well as Green, Ginobili and Simmons to play the two.
While a handful of those guys aren’t household names, they already have a leg up on Fredette (outside of McCallum), they already know the system.
Even though he played limited minutes last year, Anderson was a first-round pick by San Antonio in 2014. That gave him a year to acclimate himself and learn. He showed off everything he had picked up on when he won the Las Vegas summer league MVP while leading the Spurs to a title.
Like Anderson, Simmons is very familiar with what the Spurs do. He suited up for San Antonio in Las Vegas and played well. He also spent the last two years of his career in Austin playing for the Spurs D-League affiliate and put up some solid numbers.
As for McCallum – he is younger, seen more time and is more of a natural fit to play the point. Where Jimmer has an advantage is in spacing the floor. McCallum is just a 32.9 percent 3-point shooter during his two years in the league.
If Anderson, McCallum or Simmons can get any time at all for the Spurs, that just doesn’t leave very many minutes unless Jimmer gets the chance and can show that he is the best of the bunch and deserves to be on the floor.
And at this point, that is really all Fredette can ask for from an NBA team – a chance to show he deserves to be on the floor.