Jimmer Fredette

Atlantic Notes: Jackson, Fredette, McConnell

The Knicks will have to struggle to make it into the playoffs this season, but the league has come to view the franchise as one in the midst of a sturdy rebuild rather than one undergoing a messy collapse, writes Harvey Araton of The New York Times in his look at the current state of the team under executive Phil Jackson. The Times scribe points to the selection of Kristaps Porzingis in the 2015 NBA Draft as a watershed moment for the team, with the fanbase now viewing the rookie as the team’s potential savior rather than the aging Carmelo Anthony. Also counting as successes for Jackson are the offseason additions of Arron Afflalo, Derrick Williams and Robin Lopez, who is a better fit for the team than original target Greg Monroe would have been, Araton adds.

Here’s more from out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks‘ reported signing of Thanasis Antetokounmpo to a 10-day deal instead of Jimmer Fredette, who plays for New York’s D-League affiliate, surprised some since the team had been evaluating the shooting guard for a potential roster spot, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. New York wasn’t enamored with Fredette’s defense, something that Antetokounmpo excels at, Berman adds. The Knicks also considered signing Tony Wroten, but preferred Antetokounmpo’s familiarity with the triangle offense instead, the Post scribe notes.
  • This season’s version of the Raptors are superior to last season’s thanks to the improved bench, tougher team defense and the improved chemistry and roster cohesion, Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun writes. “I think it’s guys playing more years with each other, understanding what we want to do and more people buying into their roles,” is how James Johnson described the difference in this season’s team.
  • Point guard T.J. McConnell has carved out a role for himself on the Sixers thanks to his toughness and unselfish play, Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com writes. “I think he’s been pretty good from the get-go,” coach Brett Brown said of McConnell. “I feel like he’s starting to understand the rhythm of the game, the tempo of the game, who needs the ball, what plays should be called, defensive rotations, on-ball pick-and roll-defense. … He’s constantly in pick-and-rolls. He’s developed in a big way there.

Atlantic Notes: Wroten, 2016 Draft, Johnson

The Knicks don’t want to sign a player to a 10-day deal who won’t crack their rotation, which explains why the team hasn’t added Tony Wroten or Jimmer Fredette despite possessing an open roster spot, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. New York thinks it would be wasteful to do so, according to Berman, and the franchise won’t be pressed into making a move unless a rotation player goes down with an injury. The Knicks are also considering using a 10-day pact on a young player who would play primarily in the D-League in order to learn the triangle offense, the New York Post scribe adds. Berman notes that New York has expressed some level of interest in Wroten but is concerned about his tendency to gamble on defense.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Celtics power forward Amir Johnson, who departed the Raptors as a free agent this past offseason, is missed by his former teammates and Toronto’s fans because of his tireless work ethic, Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca writes. “I think fans appreciate hard work,” said Patrick Patterson, who spent a season and a half with Johnson with the Raptors. “They appreciate guys who lay it out every single night, who play with their heart and soul. Like I said, he was battling through injuries and he wasn’t sitting out. He wasn’t in the locker room not participating. He was out there every single night playing those games no matter how he felt, no matter how badly his body needed rest, he was out there every night with his heart and soul.
  • The Nets have hired well-known shooting coach David Nurse to work with their players, NetsDaily relays. Brooklyn is shooting 44.6% from the field and hitting just 31.8% of their 3-pointers on the season.
  • The Celtics own Brooklyn’s 2016 first round pick. which is likely to land in the top five, and the crew over at CSNNE.com looked at six potential draft targets for Boston. Besides the projected No. 1 overall pick, Ben Simmons of LSU, Boston is also likely to strongly consider Jaylen Brown (California), Buddy Hield (Oklahoma), Kris Dunn (Providence), Dragan Bender (Croatia) and Brandan Ingram (Duke).

Knicks Rumors: Early, Fisher, Porzingis

Knicks forward Cleanthony Early, who was wounded in a December 30th shooting, probably won’t return to the court until after the All-Star break, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. The second-year player was shot once in his right knee during a robbery. Team president Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills haven’t made any public comment on the incident, but an unidentified friend of Early’s told Berman that the recovery is progressing well. “He’s feeling better and he’s going to be fine,’’ the friend said. “It was the best possible outcome, and it’s not going to have any effect on his career. There was no structural damage and no infection, so he didn’t need surgery. That was the beautiful thing, not needing surgery. Thank God — his knee could’ve been blown out.’’

With an opening already on the roster, Early’s absence has left the Knicks with just 13 available players, and Berman writes that the team is “exploring several options” to add someone via a 10-day contract. The Knicks are examining the players waived because of this week’s deadline for guaranteed contracts and were keeping an eye on the D-League showcase that ends today. Jimmer Fredette, part of the Knicks’ D-League franchise in Westchester, was considered, but coach Derek Fisher wants a better defender, according to Berman.

There’s more this morning from the Big Apple:

  • The Knicks’ near-miss Friday in San Antonio and their overall competitiveness during a challenging stretch shows that Fisher has developed an effective combination, Berman writes in a separate piece. Their recent success, Berman notes, coincides with Fisher’s decision to cut his rotation to nine players and limit the playing time of Kyle O’Quinn, Kevin Seraphin, Sasha Vujacic and Lou Amundson.
  • Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had good things to say about rookie Kristaps Porzingis, according to Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. Porzingis is averaging 13.2 points and 7.9 rebounds per game halfway through his first NBA season. “They were very astute in figuring out what he might be down the road,” Popovich said. “His agility, his sense of the game, his skills, are quite significant. I think he’s going to be a great player.”
  • New York’s best opportunity for improvement next season will come through free agency, contends Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. The Knicks will have approximately $20MM in cap space this summer and won’t have their first-round pick because of the 2013 Andrea Bargnani trade.

And-Ones: Papanikolaou, Fredette, Kelly

Combo forward Kostas Papanikolaou was surprised by the Nuggets waiving him prior to Thursday’s leaguewide guarantee date, his agent George Sfairopoulos told Greek radio station Sport FM, according to Eurohoops.net. “Papanikolaou had many talks with people of the team, both from the front office and the coaching staff, and also I have spoken with assistant general manager Arturas Karnisovas. We have been told that the team will pick up his option for the rest of the season. However, that’s life and we are ready to respond to every situation,” Sfairopoulos said.

The agent also noted that if Papanikolaou decides to return to Europe to play, Barcelona of Spain would have the first opportunity to sign him. “Barcelona has his rights for Europe and the first word. If Kostas gets an offer from an other team, Barcelona can match it and sign him,” said Sfairopoulos. “At this point Kostas wants to get minutes on the court. That’s his number one priority.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • While he would prefer to be on an NBA roster, combo guard Jimmer Fredette is enjoying the opportunity to play he is receiving in the D-League, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports writes. “It wasn’t necessarily a letdown because I knew I had to do some things to get onto a team where I can thrive,” Fredette told Spears about being in the D-League. “That wasn’t going to be the case at the beginning of the year if you get to that 15th roster spot and then you sit there and don’t play much. It was kind of a breath of fresh air to go out and know you’re going to get some playing time, be able to play, do what you do, gain some confidence and get some reps. That was the biggest thing for me when I talked to my agent and my family, was to get reps, get confidence back and be able to show people what I can do again.
  • Fredette also told Spears that he considered overseas options in Italy, Greece, Serbia and Australia before deciding to join the D-League, and returning to the NBA is his primary goal. “I am playing basketball for the love of the game, but I also want to do what’s best for my career and my family. So whatever that is, we will take that path. We will see what happens in the future,” Fredette said.
  • The Lakers have assigned Tarik Black and Ryan Kelly to their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This will be the fourth stint with the D-Fenders on the season for both players.
  • The Thunder recalled Josh Huestis from their D-League affiliate, the team announced via press release.

Western Notes: Bryant, Fredette, Payne, Nance

The Lakers simply can’t concentrate on developing young players as they otherwise would because they need to give Kobe Bryant a “justified farewell” as he plays his final season, GM Mitch Kupchak contended in an interview with Baxter Holmes of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Kupchak expounded on comments he made in a recent meeting with season ticket-holders in which he said the team can’t fully move forward with Bryant still present, though he made it clear that the franchise has no reservations about giving Bryant his due. Kupchak argued to Holmes that the attention Bryant draws allows the young players to grow outside the harsh glare of the spotlight, calling it a “silver lining” to the situation, and the GM also insisted the team will be in better position to attract free agents this summer than it was last year.

“I think we’ll see enough [from the young players],” Kupchak said. “Yeah, I think we’ll see enough. I do. Kobe has been really good lately. He looks like he’s trying to fit in and play the right way. Yeah, I think we’ll see enough. Is it going to come as quick as you want? I mean, D’Angelo [Russell] is going to be 20. They all want it now, but it’s just going to take a year or two or three. But it’s certainly going to be a lot more attractive than what we had to offer last summer.”

See more from the Western Conference:

  • Utah has an open roster spot after waiving Elijah Millsap on Tuesday, but while Jimmer Fredette, who’s eligible to sign with any NBA team, is still a fan favorite from his days at BYU, the Jazz signaled their lack of interest when they passed him up in this season’s D-League draft, tweets Jody Genessy of the Deseret News. The team doubts his ability to play NBA-caliber defense and doesn’t want to deal with the crush of local interest that signing him would entail, Genessy adds (Twitter link).
  • Thunder coach Billy Donovan‘s decision to put rookie Cameron Payne in the rotation has helped a talented second unit to finally play up to its abilities, as Royce Young of ESPN.com examines. The process hasn’t been without hiccups, but Payne’s emergence is nonetheless one more selling point the Thunder have to use in their pitch to retain Kevin Durant this summer, Young writes.
  • Others still on the draft board seemed to be more likely candidates for the Lakers when they instead picked Larry Nance Jr. 27th overall this past summer, but after starting him at power forward for a month, coach Byron Scott thinks the situation has flipped, notes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. “If you were probably to re-do the draft, he’d be a lottery pick,” Scott said. “So obviously, we got a steal.”

Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 1/2/16

Jimmer Fredette hasn’t lived up to expectation since entering the league as the No. 10 overall pick in the 2011 draft, but he has impressed since re-joining New York’s D-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks. Ticket sales, and not strictly Fredette’s basketball skills, reportedly fueled the team’s decision to select Fredette in the D-League draft, yet after an impressive stretch of games, I bet the team is happy to have him on its side. The BYU product torched the Delaware 87ers today, accumulating 27 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists.

The Knicks are looking to add a young scorer or a shooter in the backcourt, as sources told Ian Begley of ESPN.com a few weeks ago. Team president Phil Jackson apparently likes Fredette, as Begley wrote at the time, and he would seem to fit a need. New York is running the triangle much better than last year, but the offense runs stagnant at times, as the team is only scoring 97.5 points per game, which is the seventh worst mark in the league. Adding Fredette, who is a career 38.0% shooter from downtown, might be a good way to bring in some offense without making a drastic change.

That leads us to tonight’s shootaround topic: Should the Knicks sign Jimmer Fredette to bolster their offense and if not New York, is there another team that would be a good fit for him? Being mindful of our commenting policy, let us know in the comments section below what your thoughts are. We look forward to what you have to share.

Knicks Seek Backcourt Help

Some within the Knicks front office recently said they’re interested in adding a young scorer or a shooter to the backcourt, sources told Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. Still, New York isn’t near any significant move and don’t intend to bring in anyone who would significantly impinge upon their future cap flexibility, Begley also hears.

Knicks team president Phil Jackson apparently likes Jimmer Fredette, Begley writes, but the former 10th overall pick who’s playing for New York’s D-League team said in the days following his initial arrival to the Westchester Knicks roster that he hadn’t heard from Jackson or coach Derek Fisher. Ticket sales, and not strictly Fredette’s on-court ability, fueled the team’s decision to select Fredette in the D-League draft, as Marc Berman of the New York Post wrote at the time.

Few Knicks players are thought of as all that valuable on the trade market, a group that includes only Kristaps Porzingis, Jerian Grant, Arron Afflalo and Robin Lopez, Begley writes. Carmelo Anthony is presumably part of that group, too, but the Knicks have given no indication that they’ve thought about trading him, according to Begley. Anthony has a no-trade clause.

New York reportedly expressed interest in Jamal Crawford this summer, and the Clippers have apparently surveyed interest in him around the league in recent weeks. The Timberwolves have apparently made Kevin Martin available in trade discussions, though it’s unclear if the Knicks are eyeing him, and he has a player option worth nearly $7.378MM for next season, a number that could cut into cap flexibility. Brandon Jennings is on an expiring contract, but he’s only now returning from a torn Achilles tendon and Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said a few days ago that he’d yet to have a single trade conversation about him with other teams.

The Knicks have more than $55MM in guaranteed salary for next season. The team also has an open roster spot, giving them a measure of flexibility most of the league doesn’t have.

Who do you think the Knicks should target? Comment to share your ideas.

New York Notes: Prokhorov, Teletovic, Fredette

Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov and real estate developer Bruce Ratner’s Forest City Enterprises have reached an agreement that will give Prokhorov sole ownership of the team and the Barclays Center, Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg.com reports. The terms of the potential sale have not been disclosed, and the NBA is in the process of reviewing the proposal, Soshnick notes. Gaining full ownership of the Nets and Barclays Center would make it easier for Prokhorov to sell all or part of either asset if he desired down the line, the Bloomberg scribe adds. The franchise is still undergoing a valuation to assess its worth, but sources have informed NetsDaily (via Twitter) that the team itself, minus the arena, will be second to only the Clippers, which sold to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.

Here’s more from the Big Apple:

  • Mirza Teletovic, whom the Suns signed to one-year, $5.5MM deal this past offseason, didn’t shut the door on a potential return to the Nets in the future, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops relays (via Twitter). When asked if he’d consider playing in Brooklyn again, Teletovic said, “Yeah, why not? I enjoyed the time here. Like I said before, I love the city, I love the atmosphere, I love the way people treat basketball and they show respect to it. I really wouldn’t mind.
  • Jimmer Fredette, who recently returned to the Knicks‘ D-League affiliate after the Pelicans waived him, hopes he can catch the eye of an NBA team and return to the league this season, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com writes. “I know I can play in the NBA, and I can be a very good player in the NBA. I’m excited to be able to start here,” Fredette told Begley. “Sometimes you’ve got to be able to go backwards in order to get back up to where you want to be.
  • The Knicks have recalled Cleanthony Early from their D-League affiliate, the team announced, just hours after sending him down. This was Early’s second trip of the season to Westchester.

Jimmer Fredette Rejoins Knicks D-League Team

Jimmer Fredette has gone back to the D-League affiliate of the Knicks after clearing waivers from the Pelicans, reports Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor (Twitter link). The D-League contract that Fredette signed before the Pelicans picked him up remained in effect, but the circuit allows its players out of deals to sign NBA contracts. That same courtesy doesn’t extend to non-NBA contracts, so Fredette would have had to pay a penalty of between $40K and $50K if he’d chosen to sign with an overseas team, as Reichert notes on his D-League FAQ. That would be roughly double what his D-League contract calls for him to make.

Fredette originally signed with the D-League at large after the Spurs let him go from their NBA roster at the end of the preseason. The Knicks snagged his D-League rights with the No. 2 pick in the October 31st D-League draft. Ticket sales were reportedly the primary motivator, and Fredette said nearly a week into his time with the Westchester Knicks that he hadn’t heard from Knicks NBA team president Phil Jackson or coach Derek Fisher, despite an open spot on New York’s NBA roster.

The native of Glens Falls, New York signed with the Pelicans before the Westchester Knicks played their first game of the season. He figures to see much more action on D-League hardwoods than the 13 minutes he saw spread across four games with New Orleans this year.

Pelicans Waive Jimmer Fredette

The Pelicans have waived Jimmer Fredette, the team announced. The team signed the former BYU star to a non-guaranteed contract November 10th using a 16th roster spot the league granted them via the hardship rule. That provision for an extra player lasts only 10 days, and though the Pelicans are still dealing with copious injuries, Fredette’s release is a signal that the league won’t be giving the team another 10-day exception, likely because one of the injured players is poised to return, as John Reid of The Times Picayune speculates (on Twitter).

Letting go of Fredette is also a financial savings for the Pels, who only used him for a total of 13 minutes spread over four games this month. His prorated minimum salary cost them $5,572 a day. Fredette is also collecting money this season from the Spurs, who guaranteed him $507,711 before cutting him at the end of the preseason. He remains under contract with the D-League affiliate of the Knicks, who drafted him after he inked a D-League deal late last month.

Omer Asik and Anthony Davis are questionable for Friday’s game against the Spurs, but four others have been out with long-term injuries, which gave New Orleans enough to qualify for the extra roster spot. Kendrick Perkins is just a couple of weeks into a three-month recovery timetable and Tyreke Evans still appears to be about two weeks away, judging by the timeframe that Reid reported a month ago, so Norris Cole and Quincy Pondexter, who’ve yet to play this season, look like the candidates to return soon.

What do you think comes next for Fredette? Leave a comment to let us know.

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