NCAA basketball legend turned NBA bust turned Chinese basketball legend Jimmer Fredette is headed back to the NBA.
The Phoenix Suns signed the 30-year-old former Brigham Young star to a contract through the end of this season with an option to pick him up for the 2019-2020 season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Guard Jimmer Fredette has agreed to a two-year deal with the Phoenix Suns, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Team option on second season for Fredette, who is returning to NBA once he receives his clearance from China.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 21, 2019
Fredette starred at BYU from 2008 to 2011, scoring 2,599 career points, which is 19th on the NCAA’s all-time points list.
In his senior year, he led the nation in scoring with 28.9 points per game, was named All-America and won the Wooden Award as college basketball’s best player. He led the Cougars to a record of 32-5, and they made it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament that year.
It’s fitting that Fredette got back to the NBA on the opening day of the NCAA Tournament.
The 6-foot-2 guard was selected 10th overall in the 2011 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks and was promptly traded to Sacramento, where he made his NBA debut. Fredette played two-and-a-half years with the Kings before he was sent to Chicago in a trade.
The next year the Bulls traded him to the New Orleans Pelicans, where he finished out the 2014-15 season. In 2015-16, his last year in the NBA, he played a total of six games for the Pelicans and New York Knicks before being let go.
Fredette started only seven games in his career, all in that first season, and he has a career scoring average of 6 points per game.
Jimmer’s back for March Madness. pic.twitter.com/lu4pJ6K4gf
— Suns Nation (@SunsNationNBA) March 21, 2019
In 2016, he signed a two-year contract with the Shanghai Sharks in the Chinese Basketball Association, and he tore up the league. That year Fredette averaged 37.6 points per game and scored 73 points in one game, and he was named the league’s MVP.
Last year, Fredette averaged 36.9 points per game in the CBA.
He is known as just a flat-out great scorer who has ridiculous range and can score from anywhere on the court.
— K̴e̴n̴n̴y̴™̴ (@NoodSexual) March 21, 2019
When Fredette was still college at BYU, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant tweeted: “Jimmer Fredette is the best scorer in the world!!”
“I had a chance to play against him this summer at my basketball camp, and he’s as good as advertised, especially against some of the top guys in the country,” Durant said of Fredette back in January 2011, according to Thunder Rumblings. “He also played with us in USA Basketball (against the FIBA World Championship gold medal team in Las Vegas) and held his own. I’m a big fan.”
He’ll get a chance to play against Fredette again very soon.
It’s not clear when Jimmer will make his debut in a Suns uniform, but they play at Sacramento, his former team, on Saturday night.
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