Jimmer Fredette

Noah Vonleh Expected To Join Shanghai Sharks

Free agent forward Noah Vonleh is expected to sign with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association, sources tell Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

Vonleh, 26, was the ninth overall pick in the 2014 draft. Since entering the NBA, he has appeared in a total of 339 regular season games for Charlotte, Portland, Chicago, New York, Minnesota, Denver, and Brooklyn.

However, the 6’10” forward hasn’t been a regular rotation player for an NBA club since the 2018/19 season, when he averaged 8.4 PPG and 7.8 RPG in 68 games (25.3 MPG) for the Knicks. Vonleh was out of the NBA for most of 2020/21, having spent just a couple weeks in February with the Nets before being waived. He appeared in four games for Brooklyn.

For much of the offseason, the Chinese Basketball Association hadn’t permitted its teams to add foreign players due to coronavirus-related concerns. However, now that the league has opted to play its 2021/22 season in a bubble, foreign players will be allowed in the CBA.

Shanghai hasn’t wasted any time in taking advantage of the rule changes, having already agreed to a deal with ex-NBA wing Jamaal Franklin. Carchia reports that the Sharks are also expected to bring back former NBA lottery pick Jimmer Fredette, who has spent most of the last five seasons in Shanghai.

Jimmer Fredette Confirms Return To Shanghai

Former NBA lottery pick Jimmer Fredette has confirmed that he’ll rejoin the Shanghai Sharks in China for the 2020/21 season, announcing the news on Instagram.

Emiliano Carchia of Sportando first reported in July that Fredette would return to Shanghai, though at the time agent Chris Emens denied that there was an agreement in place between the two sides. Carchia indicated in July that the deal was expected to be worth $1.6MM.

The 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft, Fredette has appeared in a total of 241 NBA regular season contests, most recently seeing action in six games for the Suns in 2018/19. However, his NBA production has been modest and he has enjoyed greater success in the Chinese Basketball Association.

Fredette played for Shanghai from 2016-19, earning CBA All-Star honors three times and averaging approximately 37 PPG over those three seasons. He spent the 2019/20 season with Panathinaikos, averaging 12.9 PPG with a .417 3PT% in 27 EuroLeague games. Panathinaikos was crowned the Greek League champion when the season was shut down to COVID-19.

Since Fredette is still just 31 years old, another NBA comeback remains a possibility. But he has been able to play a greater role for teams in Europe and Asia while earning salaries comparable to the NBA’s minimum, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he finishes his career overseas.

Jimmer Fredette To Return To Shanghai Sharks?

JULY 30: Fredette’s agent Chris Emens tells Sportando that there’s no agreement in place yet between Fredette and the Sharks.

“We are speaking to many clubs looking for a solution for the 2020/21 season. No such agreement has been reached,” Emens said. “We could not even consider such an agreement in China until after they rule whether or not import players will be allowed.”

According to Carchia, Sportando’s sources continue to insist that Fredette will sign with the Sharks as long as foreign players are permitted in the CBA next season.

JULY 29: Former sharpshooting BYU phenom Jimmer Fredette is set to return to the CBA’s Shanghai Sharks for $1.6MM, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

Fredette played for the Sharks from 2016-2019, and was a three-time CBA All-Star with the club. The length of the contract has not yet been announced, but Fredette was previously compensated to the tune of $1.8MM annually by the Sharks, so this may be a one-year contract.

Following his 2019 season with the Sharks, Fredette suited up for six games with the Suns during the end of the 2018/19 regular season — his last NBA action as of this writing.

After his tenure in Phoenix, Fredette returned abroad, joining Greek team Panathinaikos for the club’s 2019/20 season. He averaged 13.2 PPG while shooting 52% from the field, 49% from three-point range, and 92% from the free-throw line across 45 games. Fredette’s Panathinaikos squad was named the 2020 Greek League champion. He has also played in the summer winner-take-all event The Basketball Tournament stateside since 2017.

The 6’2″ sharpshooting guard was drafted by the Kings with the No. 10 pick in 2011 — one pick ahead of three-time champion and five-time All-Star Klay Thompson, five picks ahead of four-time All-Star, two-time Finals MVP, and two-time Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard, and 20 picks ahead of five-time All-Star Jimmy Butler.

After the Kings, Fredette had brief stints with the Bulls, Pelicans, and Knicks before first seeking opportunities overseas. In the NBA, Fredette boasts a career 37.2% three-point percentage on 2.2 attempts per contest.

Coronavirus Update: Griffin, Smart, Greece, Olympics

Although the coronavirus continues to spread through the league, the NBA hasn’t given any thought to canceling its season, according to Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin (Twitter link from Will Guillory of The Athletic). Griffin made the comment tonight on the team’s Twitter feed during a rebroadcast of a game from earlier this season.

The number of NBA players testing positive for the virus grew from two to 10 over the past week. Three members of the Sixers organization and a member of the Nuggets organization have also tested positive.

Griffin’s comment meshes with a statement by NBA commissioner Adam Silver earlier this week that he remains optimistic that the season will be concluded in some form.

There’s more basketball-related coronavirus news:

  • Celtics guard Marcus Smart, one of the players who tested positive, appeared on CNN yesterday to urge people to take the virus seriously, writes Ryan Young of Yahoo Sports. Smart said he and his teammates were tested after returning from their last road trip and they have all remained quarantined. “Be alert to what’s going on and take the precautions to not only protect yourself,” he said. “By protecting yourself, you protect others.”
  • Panathinaikos is allowing American players to return home because of the virus outbreak in Greece, according to Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. Jimmer Fredette, the most recognizable name on the roster, came back to the United States several days ago. Former NBA forward Wesley Johnson is also part of the team.
  • USA Track and Field is calling for the Summer Olympics to be postponed because of the pandemic, reports CNN. “Unfortunately, while our world class athletes are willing to push themselves to their athletic limits in pursuit of Olympic success, the likelihood that they will be able to properly train in a safe and adequate environment, and replicate the excellence we have all come to expect, does not appear likely in the midst of this global crisis,” USATF chief executive Max Siegel wrote. “As we have learned our athletes are under tremendous pressure, stress and anxiety, and their mental health and wellness is among our highest priorities.”

Jimmer Fredette Signs With Panathinaikos

JULY 15: Fredette has officially signed with Panathinaikos, the Greek team announced today in a press release. Fredette published an Instagram post confirming his move to Greece and thanking fans for their support.

JULY 10: According to Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops, sharpshooting guard Jimmer Fredette has reached a two-year deal with Panathinaikos of the Greek Basket League and EuroLeague.

As Varlas notes, this will be the first European team Fredette plays for in his professional career. He also played in China from 2016 to 2019, becoming somewhat of a Chinese sensation before signing a two-year contract with the Suns back in March. The second year had a team option, which Phoenix declined back in June.

After his option was declined, Fredette briefly played with the Warriors’ summer league team, but left the team early so as not to get injured while he contemplated his overseas options in response to several foreign teams contacting his representatives about his availability.

A six-year NBA veteran, Fredette holds career averages of 6.0 points, 1.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 13.3 minutes per game after being drafted No. 10 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft. His best season was probably as a rookie, when he averaged a career-high 7.6 PPG and 18.6 MPG.

Free Agent Rumors: Holiday, Cousins, Burke, More

Free agent swingman Justin Holiday has received interest from the Lakers, Clippers, Bulls, Raptors, Pacers, Wizards, Hornets, and Cavaliers, league sources tell Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Given how quickly most of the top players came off the market, Holiday represents one of the more intriguing options available, given his ability to knock down three-pointers (1.8 3PG on 35.4% shooting over the last three years) and defend on the perimeter.

According to Scotto, the Grizzlies are open to the idea of accommodating a sign-and-trade deal involving Holiday, so a team with interest in him could potentially acquire him using a trade exception if it doesn’t want to cut into its mid-level.

Here’s more on a few NBA free agents:

  • Wizards interim head of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard briefly spoke with free agent big man DeMarcus Cousins in Las Vegas, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (Twitter link). A previous report indicated there was virtually no chance of Cousins signing with Washington, and Buckner cautions that the conversation was described as small talk, but she still refers to it as an “interesting development.”
  • The Lakers are in the mix for free agent point guard Trey Burke, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link). Los Angeles still has plenty of roster spots to fill, so it’s not clear how high Burke is on the team’s wish list.
  • Veteran NBA big man Darrell Arthur, who sat out last season after being waived by Phoenix in October, is considering a comeback and is open to continuing his career overseas, tweets Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.
  • ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Marc J. Spears, and Ohm Youngmisuk spoke to coaches, scouts, and executives at the Utah and California Summer Leagues to get their thoughts on free agency so far. Among the highlights: McMahon writes that a number of rival executives and scouts believe the Rockets dodged a bullet by not landing Jimmy Butler.
  • The Suns have formally renounced their free agent rights to several players, including Dragan Bender, Jamal Crawford, Jimmer Fredette, and Ray Spalding, per RealGM’s transactions log.

Jimmer Fredette Done With Summer League

Jimmer Fredette has left the Warriors‘ Summer League team to make sure he doesn’t get injured while he sifts through his options overseas, according to Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News.

Fredette, 30, accepted the Summer League opportunity with Golden State after playing six games for the Suns at the end of the season. He has been a star in China for the past three years, setting several scoring records and collecting a CBA International MVP award.

“He still can play. I think he should still play,” said Aaron Miles, the Warriors’ Summer League coach. “I should say this – I think he should do whatever he feels is best for him and his family. I know a lot of times as you get older, sometimes it’s more mental than physical. But I don’t know his situation. I don’t know what the reasoning behind it. But he definitely has a lot of basketball left.”

Fredette averaged 9.5 PPG and 20.5 minutes of playing time in two games in the California Classic League. However, the Warriors are more concerned with developing their draft picks, Jordan Poole, Eric Paschall and Alan Smailagic, along with second-year guard Jacob Evans and fourth-year center Damian Jones.

A source tells Medina that Fredette decided to leave the league after several foreign teams contacted his representatives about his availability.

A prolific scorer at BYU, Fredette had a journeyman NBA career after being selected with the 10th pick in the 2011 draft. After spending his first two and a half seasons with the Kings, he had short stays with the Bulls, Pelicans and Knicks before leaving the league in 2016.

Suns To Decline Jimmer Fredette’s Team Option

As expected, the Suns will decline Jimmer Fredette‘s team option for the 2019/20 season, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). The option would have paid Fredette a salary of $1,988,119 if it had been exercised, per Basketball Insiders.

Warriors assistant GM Larry Harris confirmed earlier today that Fredette would be a part of Golden State’s Summer League roster in July. It wouldn’t have been possible for the former BYU standout to play for the Warriors in Summer League if he were still under contract with Phoenix.

Fredette, 30, returned to the NBA near the end of the 2018/19 campaign after spending multiple seasons in China. The sharpshooter struggled in six games with Phoenix down the stretch, averaging 3.7 PPG on 27.6% shooting in six games (10.8 MPG). He missed all 13 of his three-point attempts.

Fredette had been lighting up in China in recent years, putting up massive scoring numbers for the Shanghai Sharks. While he has never developed into a particularly effective NBA rotation player since being drafted 10th overall in 2011, his Summer League agreement with the Warriors suggests that he’s going to keep trying to make his way onto an NBA roster for 2019/20.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pacific Notes: Fredette, Warriors, Clippers, Lakers

Former BYU star Jimmer Fredette will have a spot on the Warriors‘ Summer League roster next month, assistant GM Larry Harris tells Joe, Lo and Dibs of 95.7 The Game (Twitter link). Fredette technically remains under contract with the Suns and has a team option for the 2019/20 season. If he has already committed to Golden State for Summer League play though, that’s a strong indication that Phoenix won’t be exercising that option.

In other Summer League news, former Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes will play for the Clippers‘ squad, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who tweets that Hayes is employing an NBA out after signing with EuroLeague team Zalgiris. Hayes appeared in nine NBA games during the 2017/18 season, including five with the Kings.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Within an article exploring the pitch the Clippers should make to Kawhi Leonard in free agency, ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz cites sources who say a belief that Leonard would sign with an L.A. team in 2019 was a significant reason why the Celtics and Sixers didn’t go all-in for the forward on the trade market a year ago.
  • While Leonard will be the Clippers‘ top target in free agency this summer, president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said that the club would “never put all our eggs in one basket,” as Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times relays.
  • Their trade for Anthony Davis will make the Lakers contenders, but their title aspirations ultimately may hinge on what sort of role players they can acquire to complement Davis and LeBron James, writes Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times.

Pacific Notes: Bagley, Lakers, Fredette, Bibbs

The Kings have taken a lot of criticism for passing on Luka Doncic with the No. 2 pick last June and selecting Marvin Bagley III instead but head coach Dave Joerger says the franchise made the right decision, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee writes.

“I think you look (at) — especially high picks — to me, just take the best player you can get, and I think we got the best player,” the Kings’ coach said. “I just think the sky’s the limit for Marvin, and I don’t know how high Luka’s (ceiling) is. I think he’s had a terrific season. I’ve enjoyed watching him, (but) we’re fired up about our guy. You talk about just scraping the tip of what he can do talent-wise. I think it’s going to be really fun to be around him for a long, long time.”

We have more from around the Pacific Division:

  • Many people believe the ill-fated pursuit of Anthony Davis wrecked the Lakers’ season, but they blame injuries for their downfall, as Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register reports. “Throughout the whole season we just had bodies and bodies and bodies and bodies be down,” LeBron James said. “And it’s just hard for us to have any type of rhythm, any type of camraderie, and type of chemistry on the floor when (Coach Luke Walton) has to play with the lineups over and over and over and try to figure out different scenarios on the court to be successful.”
  • Jimmer Fredette‘s representatives had spoken with the Suns numerous times this season before they offered him a contract, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic reports. Fredette signed a contract last week for the remainder of the season with a team option for 2019/20. He played 43 games in China with the Shanghai Sharks, averaging a league-high 36.9 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 5.4 APG, and 2.6 SPG. “The Phoenix Suns were very interested,” he said. “Spoke with their (interim) GM (James Jones). Towards the end of the season, we wanted to make it happen.” 
  • Guard Justin Bibbs has yet to make his NBA debut but he’s thrilled about his opportunity with the Clippers, David Yapkowitz of Basketball Insiders writes. Bibbs signed a second 10-day contract with the club on Saturday but he’s been playing on their G League affiliate, the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario. “I’m happy that my play has been rewarded, that the organization believed in me enough to give me a 10-day. Its motivation for me to keep going,” Bibbs said.