While Jimmer Fredette didn’t make the San Antonio Spurs, his basketball playing days are far from over. He signed a contract to play in the NBA D-League, which made him eligible (along with 289 other hopefuls), for Saturday’s D-League draft.
Along with plenty of names that even the most die-hard basketball fans haven’t heard of, there are some former first-round NBA draft picks and players with Utah ties.
There are also plenty of players with NBA experience hoping to use the D-League as a springboard back to the association. Some of the most recognizable names are Jeff Ayres, former Utah Jazz selection Ronnie Brewer, Perry Jones and Cartier Martin. Some of the local players looking for a shot in the D-League are Utah State alums Kris Clark and Jarred Shaw, former Westminster guard Michael Stockton (son of Jazz legend John Stockton), and former BYU Cougar guard Damarcus Harrison.
While the draft lasts up to eight rounds, it didn’t take long for Fredette to see his named called. He was selected with the No. 2 overall pick by the Westchester Knicks (Jeff Ayres went No.1 to the Idaho Stampede).
Fredette will have a chance to help revitalize a Knicks’ squad that won just 10 games (out of 50) in 2014-15 while he tries to get back to the NBA. The Knicks are located in White Plains, New York and play in the Westchester County Center. They will start the season with three straight home games, including the season-opener against the Maine Red Claws on Thursday, November 12.
Having a chance to play so close to home and for a team whose parent-club that has reported showed interested in him, will be a great thing for Fredette. He will have a chance to get minutes in front of a fan base that has followed him since his legendary high school days which will not doubt be a huge confidence boast.
While he will play for the Knicks, any NBA team can call him up since no team owns hist rights.
While many don’t see the D-League as a real basketball option, it is a very effective way to get back to the NBA. A record 47 players were called up to the NBA in 2014-15 while 132 D-League alumni where on NBA rosters to start this season, according to dleague.nba.com.
Included in those 132 players are players like Rudy Gobert, Hassan Whiteside, Gerald Green, Jordan Clarkson and Langston Galloway. While some of these players were sent down from their NBA clubs to spend time in the D-League, others were able to jumpstart their career thanks to bigtime performances in the NBA’s minor league.
As always, we will follow Jimmer every step of the way, including game-by-game coverage and stats as he tries to make his way back to the NBA.