Jimmer Fredette, who will soon be bought out by the Sacramento Kings, doesn’t run an offense well, and he’s too small to play shooting guard regularly – though he defends both backcourt positions poorly, anyway. There’s a reason the Kings didn’t pick up the fourth-year option on his rookie contract and are buying him out now.
But he has one definite NBA-caliber skill: 3-point shooting.
So, it makes sense two of the league’s worst outside-shooting teams want to sign him.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
The Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers are the latest teams to register interest in free agent-to-be Jimmer Fredette, according to sources close to the process.
The Cavaliers rank 21st in the NBA in 3-point percentage (35.2), and the Bulls are 27th (34.1). Fredette won’t solve all the problems of either team, but he helps an area of need. Both would do well to sign him.
For Fredette, it seems the Bulls – who could sign him for the rest of the season without exceeding the luxury-tax line thanks to a trade made, coincidentally, with the Cavaliers – would be more appealing.
For one, Luol Deng just went from Chicago to Cleveland and has reportedly found the change disorientating due the drop in organizational quality. The Bulls are also much more likely than the Cavaliers to make the playoffs.
In the long term, maybe Tom Thibodeau could improve Fredette’s defense to the point he gets a contract next season. Mike Brown returned to Cleveland with the promise of fixing the Cavaliers’ defense, but they’ve struggled on that end for most of the season. The Bulls, on the other hand, rank second in defensive rating despite so much roster flux. Ideally, Thibodeau could provide the developmental coaching Fredette didn’t receive in Sacramento.
Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.
So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.
LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.
When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.
At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.
The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.
China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.
China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.
The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.