The Kings have informed Jimmer Fredette of their decision to turn down his option for 2014/15, reports Sam Amick of USA Today (via Twitter). The move ensures that Fredette will become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Two years into his NBA career, Fredette, 24, hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations placed on him when he was drafted 10th overall in 2011. Although the BYU product recorded a respectable 14.6 PER last season, his minutes per game were reduced from 18.6 in his rookie year to just 14.0 in 2012/13. In a Kings backcourt that features Greivis Vasquez, Isaiah Thomas, Ben McLemore, and Marcus Thornton, it doesn’t look like there’s a meaningful role for Fredette, who would have been in line for a $3.11MM salary in 2014/15.
As our rookie contract option tracker shows, it’s rare for teams to turn down options on rookie contracts. So the Kings’ decision still comes as a slight surprise, even though our Chuck Myron wrote last month that Fredette was in danger due in part to his defensive limitations and the new regime in Sacramento. The decision likely ensures that Fredette’s name will pop up in trade rumors frequently between now and February’s deadline.