Jimmer gets bought out of Sacramento; figure next move sometime Saturday

2014-02-27T16:00:00Z 2014-02-28T08:03:20Z Jimmer gets bought out of Sacramento; figure next move sometime SaturdayJason Franchuk - Daily Herald Daily Herald
February 27, 2014 4:00 pm  • 

His 25th birthday was Tuesday. The big gift came Thursday.

Jimmer Fredette has been freed from Sacramento.

The third-year NBA player, a one-time college basketball player of the year who never found his footing with the Kings, was able to reach terms with the beleaguered NBA franchise on a buyout of his contract that put him on waivers.

Al Fredette, Jimmer's father, told the Daily Herald that a 48-hour period would be required before a new contract could be signed, so it could happen around sometime Saturday morning.

Fredette, who would be a free agent next season, is free to sign now with any team. He would also be free to participate in this year's playoffs because the buyout was completed before the league's Saturday midnight ET deadline.

It appears according to several media reports that Cleveland and Chicago are the front-runners.

"I wanted to thank the Kings fans, coaches, my teammates, and (the Kings owner) for my opportunity in Sacramento," Fredette posted on his Twitter account. "I have made some life long friends (next post) here and appreciate everyone involved. Excited to start the new phase of my career! Thanks to all again."

Fredette averaged nearly 29 points his senior year at BYU and became a national darling and consensus player of the year.

His pro career has hardly been that smooth.

While his shooting-percentage numbers have continually improved, and his father insists his third child's defense has also gotten better, Jimmer's points per game has decreased each season. He's at 5.9 as he exits Sacramento, after hovering around seven the previous two seasons. He had a career-best 24 points at New York, bombing away like his BYU days, and that only stirred more contempt among his fans who demand more.

His minutes have also gone down to 11.3 this year, compared to a little more than 18 as a rookie.

It hasn't helped that Fredette has had three different head coaches and two different owners, all of whom had a better idea of how to use (or not use) the long-distance shooter.

"I think this is something that can be pretty good for Jimmer," Al Fredette said by phone from his home in Glens Falls, N.Y. "Hopefully he can get a fresh start; more playing time."

Al said his son has kept a positive attitude, despite the situation and a recent picture posted on Twitter in which Fredette was talking to the Kings' general manager — and looked less than pleased in the conversation.

Al said there are some parallels to draw between Fredette's quiet freshman year at BYU and now, as he's struggled to find his role and floor time. The debate lingers at the pro level if Fredette can be a point guard, which he had to convince Cougar coaches of the same thing back in the day.

There have been all sorts of twists and turns since Fredette was drafted.

There was even some family hope about him getting traded before the recently expired deadline. The Kings didn't pick up his fourth-year option before the season, leaving open all sorts of possibilities.

But playing time has continued to be sporadic at best.

Only one thing has really surprised Al Fredette, though.

He laughs heartily when asked by the Daily Herald if he's surprised at how polarizing his affable son has become in NBA circles, especially among fans.

"They hey either hate 'em or they love him," Al said. "There's not a lot of in between with Jimmer."

Jason Franchuk covers BYU sports. Reach him at jfranchuk@heraldextra.com. Follow him on Twitter, @harkthefranchuk

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