Besides landing the number 3 pick in the NBA Draft this summer, the Utah Jazz also own the rights to the 12th pick. This is the pick that most people feel will be used on former BYU star, Jimmer Fredette. That is, if he’s still on the board once the 12th pick rolls around.
Jimmer Fredette’s college career spoke volumes about the guard’s ability to score the basketball, especially last season when he had a nation-leading 28.9 points per game. His one concern, of course, was his defense, which received a lot of criticism ever since his stock started to rise on the college basketball scene. The question is, “Will Jimmer be able to improve his defense enough to warrant a high draft pick in June’s NBA Draft?”
The answer to that question is not going to be answered prior to the draft, but scouts did have the opportunity to see what he was made of during the NBA Draft Combine, where draft hopefuls display their skills to potential teams. Although a few drills aren’t enough to determine the type of career an NBA player might have, it is a good indicator of how much a player has worked on his skills, and how much they have tried to address their weaknesses. More than anything it shows the character that a player possesses, and if he has the determination, desire, and discipline to continue working on his game during the offseason.
Fortunately for Fredette, the scouts were pleased with his defense during the one-on-one drills. He showed improvements on things that were a concern, and that should only aid him come June 25.
During the combine Fredette spoke to the Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers, and Milwaukee Bucks. Of those 3 teams only the Bucks, who have the 10th pick, have a pick before the Jazz at 12. If Jimmer’s interview went well with the Bucks, they might be the team that dashes Utah’s hopes of taking their local hero in the draft. However, the Bucks do have a young impressive point guard in Brandon Jennings, and they also have some other guards in John Salmons and Michael Redd (coming off an injury-plagued season) who are very capable when it comes to scoring the basketball. In addition, the Bucks are thin at center with the injury-prone Andrew Bogut and not much else to man the middle (sorry, Drew Gooden and Larry Sanders). So, if you ask me, the Bucks don’t have a pressing need for Fredette.
Of course there is always the possibility that the Bucks fall in love with Fredette, and they simply can’t pass him up when pick 10 comes around. If that’s the case, I wish Fredette luck, and I hope he has the opportunity to showcase his skills for the fans in Milwaukee. But you know and I know that Jimmer belongs in Utah playing for the Jazz. In fact, Jimmer had this to say about the possibility of playing for the Jazz:
“Yeah, that would be something that would be very cool. Obviously, I have a big following out there. I feel comfortable there. I have a lot of family and friends in the area. It’s a good system, a lot of pick rolls. A guy like (former Utah guard) Deron Williams flourished in that type of system. I think I could do the same.”
Whenever you hear a player talk like that about a specific team, you know that it would be a perfect fit as long as the team wants that player as well. And from the way things have been sounding, the Jazz would jump at the chance to snag Jimmer Fredette at 12. Let’s just hope he’s still waiting to be drafted at that time.