Few players are as screwed by this NBA lockout as the first round picks of the recent draft. They know where they will play next season, but this summer they get none of the NBA coaching, no summer league, no NBA facilities in which to workout and practice. They don’t even know how much they will make whenever they start getting paychecks (and unlike veterans they have no NBA savings to fall back on for living expenses).
Most are just working out in a variety of locations and waiting it out. Most first round picks are not headed to Europe because they risk their guaranteed NBA deal if they got injured (playing for a lot less money).
But Jimmer Fredette — the unofficial King of Utah — has some exhibition games coming for his fellow rookies. Via KSL.com:
In an announcement made live exclusively on KSL Newsradio this morning, Fredette confirmed that he will play in a two- game event called “Jimmer’s All-Stars: Presented by Zions Bank.” The games will take place Wednesday, September 21st and Thursday, September 22nd. The first game will be played at the Maverick Center in Salt Lake City, with the second contest a night later at the Marriott Center in Provo.
“It will be another chance for fans to be able to come and watch myself and many of the NBA draftees play a couple games here and have a great time,” said Fredette in his morning interview on KSL.
“We knew that it would be something that would be fun for everybody here in Utah. Since there was an NBA lockout, we knew that we weren’t going to be able to play much organized basketball, so it might be a good thing to get a couple of games in, in front of fans, especially.”
The hard part of making these exhibitions work is getting sponsors and spaces. But Fredette, who will play for the Sacramento Kings next season, has already gotten all that down. Not sure what the quality of ball will be but it is a chance for some big names to get some run before they are thrown to the wolves of he NBA season.