Deceptive Athleticism. Steady competitor. Brilliant Shooter. Unlimited Range. Quiet Confidence. And the next Sacramento King!
I have been hunkering down in my B-Lab (Blob Laboratory) lately, that is, in front of my iMac, to study, quantify, qualify and deconstruct the top prospects through combination of You Tube clips, articles, respected commentary and relevant data to separate the wheat from the chaff, the contenders from the pretenders, and the Hakeem's from the Hasheem's.
My analysis reveals the Kings will select...wait, wait...drama building, wait...tension mounting, wait...boredom setting in, wait...and wait no more!
Jimmer Fredette with the # 7 pick of the NBA draft!!! These results have a margin of error of 0.0%.
Send him to the draft podium, design the 2011-2012 promotional billboards, book the January 2013 appearance at the Arco 2 Groundbreaking Ceremony, replete with logoed hardhat and purple-tinted shovel, and let Jimmermania commence!
The output of my scientific 2011 NBA draft investigation reveals Jimmer to be the most worthy candidate based on optimal fit, immediate and long-term impact, as opposed to position, reputation, or the elusive quality known as 'upside'. In sum, Jimmer is the best NBA prospect available at #7 while satisfying a foremost need.
Despite the late season brilliance of MT23, the Kings are being built around the dynamic duo of Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins. Reke and Cuz are the most talented players on the roster, and the cornerstones of The Rebuild. Any core addition must complement their predominant traits. If there is a common trait shared by the two players, it is their preference to bully their way into the paint, to overpower smaller defenders, to carve a scoring path with muscle and skill.
Opposing defenders able to cheat off their man and into help position narrows creases to exploit, and reduces room to operate. To maximize the potential of our two best talents, we are wise to give them ample space to do damage. Enter Jimmer, as weak side sharp shooter, spot up marksman, and trustworthy scoring option with minimal airspace required. Jimmer will keep defenses honest and force opponents to swallow their poison.
Drink up, mortal victim!
The Kings witnessed the positive impact Marcus Thornton brought to the team with his 3-point range (36%) and dynamic scoring repertoire (21.3 PPG in 27 games). It is not an exaggeration to say the trade deadline deal made the Kings exponentially more watchable, exciting and competitive. It has been suggested by many, myself included, that Jimmer duplicates the size and skillset of MT23, albeit a lesser and unproven version, and that the pick would be better utilized to fill another need or position (SF, PF).
Contrary to this line of thought, you can never have too many shooters and cold-blooded scorers. Witness the NBA finalists Dallas Mavericks as example of team structured around the low/mid post dominance of Dirk as center hub to numerous spokes ready and able to launch from the three-point arc: The Jason's, Terry and Kidd, our boy Peja, JJ Barea, and DaShawn Stevenson.
Reliable shooters become more indispensable when one of your best players drives relentlessly into the key, in the case of Reke, and needs a dependable safety valve when the bank is not open for business. Further, when your best post player, DeMarcus Cousins, showed in his rookie season an ability to see over the top of the defense, and to find open wing or corner shooters, it helps when the man on the receiving end knows what to do. Swish!
Geoff Petrie's affection for superior shooting can be traced over the years to his acquisition of players who excelled at this one skill: Ricky Barry, Danny Ainge, Mitch Richmond, Mike Bibby, Jason Williams, Peja Stojakovic, Kevin Martin, Eddie House, Tony Delk, Jon Barry, Omri Casspi, to name a few.
Adding Jimmer Fredette to this list seems overwhelmingly fitting under present circumstances, although at first I rejected the notion. In fact, the idea the Kings would draft a 6'2" white kid from BYU was beyond the realm of possibility in my mind, but not because he is a 6'2" white kid from BYU. I made no qualms over my objection to Jimmer as serious candidate.
A sampling of impressions leading to today:
The best player I have seen in tourney so far is Jimmer Freddette, and he looks too slow and nonathletic to guard at NBA level, or to get to the hoop and finish...
Jerry Reynolds implied the other telecast he likes Jimmer. He said he is bigger and stronger than Mike Bibby when he came in to league. It will be interesting to see where Jimmer goes in the draft. When he goes in for the individual workouts if he proves he is a decent enough athlete, he will go high. If his athleticism (lateral quickness, speed) is sketchy, teams will get nervous....
The player I don’t want is Jimmer Fredette. Dude is too slow to defend, get out on break, and beat anyone off dribble....
I am not saying Jimmer is not going to be a good pro or defy critics with his athletic ability. I just think a projected PG without decent speed, or a projected 6’2" SG with just average speed, has less margin for error. If the Kings even consider taking him at #5, he needs to prove at least average athleticism....
Of course teams like Jimmer. What’s not to like based on his college career? He was fantastic. But there's a big gap between we like him to he is our draft pick....
Yo, yo, waddup wit dat yo-yo head? What's up with the reversal of opinion? Slight change of tune, eh hombre? What's with the two-sided mouth blabbing, blob!?! Chill. Settle down, Pookey, err, random reader, NBA aficionado, and gentlemanly scholar. Relax, breathe, and recognize that looks can be deceiving and newly released data, once churned and digested, can be eye opening, and assuage concerns to decisive degree.
Allow me to explain the evolution of my thought process, my surprising B-Lab findings, and the basis of my boarding pass upon the Jimmer Express.
As picture illustrates, Jimmer has a wide and somewhat stocky frame. However, his build belies his athleticism. My initial impressions over his physique led me to imagine he would be a half to full step slow on NBA fast breaks, attempted back door cuts, or potential escape dribbles. The NBA is a game of inches. Lack of speed and quickness is the difference between lay-up and a swatted shot, between three feet of shooting space and three inches, and between success and failure.
My tempered expectations held. Then, the NBA draft combine occurred. The results are in. Key categoric comparisons between Jimmer, his fellow attendees, his future King teammates, and established veterans listed below:
3/4 Court Sprint:
(1) Derrick Rose 3.05
(2) Rusell Westbrook 3.08
(3) John Wall: 3.14
(4) Kemba Walker 3.16
(5) Tyreke Evans 3.17
(6) Aaron Brooks 3.20
(7) Jimmer Fredette 3.21
(8) Jrue Holiday 3.21
(9) Chris Paul 3.22
(10) Marcus Thornton 3.28
(11) Omri Casspi 3.28
(12) Stephen Curry 3.28
(13) JJ Redick 3.29
(1) Jimmer Fredette! 10.42
(2) Dwyane Wade 10.56
(3) Jrue Holiday 10.64
(4) Marcus Thornton 10.73
(5) Brandon Knight 10.74
(6) John Wall 10.84
(7) Kemba Walker 10.87
(8) JJ Redick 10.94
(9) Russell Westbrook 10.98
(10) Stephen Curry 11.07
(11) Chris Paul 11.09
(12) Derrick Rose 11.69
(13) Tyreke Evans 11.89
Clearly, Jimmer Fredette is no athletic slug. He's more Road Runner than Wild E. Coyote. Line him up against the fastest of Kings (Tyreke, MT23, Pooh and Omri) and Jimmer will not get dusted. In fact he may just lead the pack, and do the dusting. Even more impressive, ask him to slide laterally against the most athletic guards in the NBA, and sliding he shall do. His reputation as a defensive slouch at BYU may have been well earned, but he projects as a capable NBA defender.
The results of these agility and speed drills must be tempered with just this fact. These are drills, not basketball plays. But the correlation should not be discounted, nor the fact that the impressive results address the primary concerns regarding his ability to excel as a pro. I was unable to find any prominent NBA guards who completed the agility drill faster than Jimmer. Video evidence here:
Jimmer Agility and Sprint Drills (4:55 to 6:00):
More Jimmer Agility on Display (2:55 to 3:05):
While Jimmer does not possess the length or hops of his soon-to-be peers, he possesses NBA level athleticism. His 6'4.5" wingspan is equal to Beno's, and puts him below the average of 6'6" for an NBA PG. His 10'9".5 max vertical is mildly concerning, and puts him in the bottom 20% percentile of NBA PGs. It still puts him among accomplished vertically-challenged company: Chris Paul, Jameer Nelson and Ty Lawson. He is not going to win a dunk contest anytime soon, or ever. But blowing out a candle upon a cupcake sitting atop of the rim while windmill double pumping is not requirement to becoming a NBA star.
Sorry Gerald Green.
So there you have it. In unexpected turn, Jimmer displays the foot speed and agility needed to defend, to fill the wings on a break, to pull up early in transition, to curl off picks, and to crossover unsuspecting defenders. Recent reports from individual and group workouts confirm teams and GMs are pleasantly surprised as well (Knicks, Pacers). Most importantly, Jimmer seems to possess the athleticism to keep pace with teammates, if not lead them, and to play at speed and pace necessary to get consistent quality looks at the hoop.
Jimmer frenzy, friends!
Jimmer compares favorably with a young Mike Bibby. As a former #2 pick of the Vancouver Grizzlies, Bibby's transition to the NBA was fairly seamless. He averaged 13 points as a rookie, as high as 21 PPG in '05-'06, and never less than 13 points over the first 12 years of his career. He shot 38% from 3 points, 43% overall, with better than 2.5:1 assist:TO ratio. To secure a player of comparable potential and productivity with the 7th pick of the draft represents tremendous value.
Mike Bibby @ Arizona
Jimmer Fredette @ BYU
Fredette and Bibby have the similar body type, and same deft shooting touch. Both use their size and strength to ward off defenders and create space. Jimmer has more range on his shot. The Bibster had better penetration skills. The low camera angle on the Jimmer clips also effectively reveals (1) deft dribble crossover that will translate into NBA (2) nice elevation on jump shot, (3) adequate and crafty, if not good, penetration skills, (4) nice handles in traffic, and (5) opportune passing.
Why not Kemba, Biyombo or [insert name here]?!
Official B-Lab protocol dictates sizing up a draft in simplest of terms, in terms of impact. Looking forward or in retrospect, the best players are those with an ability to impact a game and their team with a unique combination of skills. By considering a player in terms of past, current and projected impact, focus shifts to what he can do, versus what he cannot do. Too often analysis gets muddled with lists of pros and cons, positional focus, and illogical comparisons. By evaluating a player based on the level of impact he makes on a game today, and determining if the impact will likely translate into the future, chances improve that the best player will be chosen.
Tyreke Evans impacts a game with an ability to get to the rim at will through size and saavy, and his impact was demonstrated through 25+ consecutive victories at Memphis, once responsibility and the ball was placed in his hands. DeMarcus was a prep state champion and leading contributor of top ranked team at Kentucky with his ability to impact the paint area through aggression, size and fundamentals. Likewise, Jimmer Fredette impacts a game with the constant attention required through his extraordinary ability to make shots. His immeasurable impact upon the success of BYU program cannot be understated. The clincher to this equation of projected impact is the display of athleticism to go with the sweet stroke.
Jimmer will soon become the Kings best shooter since the glory days of Peja-vu, and an exciting and substantive addition to an emerging Kings team. He immediately becomes the third guard in a 3-man rotation, and penciled in for 20 to 30 minutes per game. I like Beno and his unheralded efficiency and production, but the arrival of Jimmer makes departure of Beno imminent.
The Blob has spoken. The June 23rd Sacramento Kings draft future has been foretold. Trust in the wisdom of the Blob. The B-Lab never Be-Lies. Thank
you me for reading this post. You have just been Jimmer'd.
* Blob Disclaimer * This 100% money back draft guarantee is null and void in the unlikely event Enes Kanter or Brandon Knight slips to the #7 spot. Past returns do not guarantee future results. Ice cream tastes good.