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Jimmer to the Jazz? Don’t Hold Your Breath

16 June 2011 Brett Richins 18 Comments

Could Fredette remain in Utah? (BYU photo)

If you are one of those hoping to see Jimmer Fredette in a Utah Jazz uniform, you’re likely to be disappointed.

Despite Utah having two lottery picks next Thursday, it may not be in the cards for BYU’s favorite son to play his pro ball in the same state where he found fame as a college player.

Heaven knows Utah could use a player with Fredette’s ability to stroke it from deep, and all reports are that the Jazz decision makers were impressed with his workout in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.

However, despite the fact that Jimmer’s pre-draft workouts have him on the rise, don’t expect the Jazz to be willing to spend the number three pick on him. That just too high for any team to take a flier on a player who has the defensive question marks that Fredette does.

On the flip side, when the Jazz makes its second selection in the first round — just nine picks later — Jimmer could well be off the board.

The vibe coming out of Sacramento is that the Kings are very high on Jimmer and may have their heart set on taking him with the 7th pick. It’s no secret that the Maloof brothers have coveted college basketball’s consensus player of the year and are enamored with his off-the-bus range.

If by chance the Kings pass on Jimmer, its possible that a team like the Suns, Pacers or Knicks could trade up to get him.

Imagine the deep threat of Fredette teamed with the likes of all-stars Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. Melo and Amar’e would have a field day with Jimmer’s ability to stretch defenses, and New York’s up-and-down offensive philosophy would be a boon for Fredette’s game. The Big Apple and the Jimmer would be a marketers dream come true as well.

Even if Jimmer is still available at 12, Utah is highly unlikely to pick him if the Jazz use the third pick to draft Kentucky’s Brandon Knight, who is considered more of a true point guard and a safer bet, and who is widely considered one of the three or four top players in the draft.

If Knight is already in the fold when the Jazz pick at 12, then expect the Utah front office to look at a shooting guard like Washington State’s Klay Thompson, the best shooter in the draft not named Jimmer. Or if he’s still on the board, they could take Alec Burks of Colorado, perhaps the most athletic two guard in the draft and a player with huge upside.

Many who cheer for the Utah Jazz are hoping that their team will be able to address its need for outside shooting. No one in this draft, or any draft in recent memory, fits that bill better than Jimmer. However, it will take an unlikely set of circumstances for the former Cougar to land in the Beehive state.

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  • FloridaBlue said:

    I guess I’m not as savvy or knowledgeable when it comes to the draft. But it seems to me that if a player at this level fits a system, has everything a team needs, has a desire to play for them, and has proven to be better than advertised (even when the advertising was over the top to start with), has other teams hoping that he’ll fall to their pick (or willing to trade up to get him), why not pick him up at 3? Jimmer has proven that his defensive “liability” was not as bad as it looked during the season. And how can you pass up someone with his offensive skills? I’m not saying he’s the next MJ, but there doesn’t seem to be anyone else in this draft that is either. Even guys like Irving and Walker, while they are good, are getting kind of a free pass at the top without really proving their worth there. Jimmer to the Jazz is such an obvious match. Yes, I think he’s worth a three.

  • Tfinny said:

    I totally agree with floridablue, its said that this draft is one of the weaker drafts that we’ve had and that after Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams its a crap shoot on getting a star… So with that logic why not take a chance on a kid like jimmer at 3 since according to experts you are going to take a chance on anyone after 2

  • Dwight Cornell said:

    Florida Blue, leave it to the Jazz to mess things up like they always do, I too think that Jimmer is worth going at #3, but I honestly think he will end up either in Phoenix or Sacramento.
    Jazz need to get a new General Manager, I have never been that impressed with Kevin O’Connor.

  • Brett Richins said:

    Tfinny and FloridaBlue,

    Taking Jimmer at #3 would be considered a significant reach for any team. That’s not to say that he won’t prove worthy of being such a high pick, but the draft is a funny thing that way. The Jazz are a young team in transition and with two lottery picks in the draft the pressure is on Kevin O’Conner and the Jazz brain trust to not screw things up. Therefore, don’t be surprised if they go with the “safer” bet in Knight at #3.

    However, if they are ballsy enough to take Jimmer at #3 and then get a player like Thompson at #12, they would definitely go from one of the worst outside shooting teams in the NBA to one of the best and create real space for some of their young and talented front court players to operate on the inside. They would also potentially have a young core of talented players that could make some real noise for the next 10-12 years. It will be very intriguing to see what decisions the Jazz will make, but given Jimmer’s rising stock I believe there is a very good chance he is gone by #12.

  • J 2 said:

    If, and this is a fairly big if, Jimmer is around at 12 and the Jazz don’t take him, I hope he becomes a Jazz killer a la Sean Elliot, John Paxton, Eddie Johnson (Seattle’s long range shooter). That would be sweet justice for not having enough confidence in his abilities to pull the trigger. Historically the Jazz don’t guard the perimeter so it would be lights out for Jimmer whenever he plays them.

  • kiyoshige said:

    It was en vogue for the pundits to predict and NBA bust for Jimmer and now it seems his stock is rising.

    One thing Cougar fans have become accustomed to over the past 2 years is to stop being surprised when Jimmer exceeds expectations to the point of hyperbole.

    At this point going top 10 is an expectation and top 3/5 isn’t out of reach.

  • Adam said:

    I’m hoping Jimmer goes to the Knicks. A New Yorker going home and could play his style of game. But I’m on the east coast and just want to see him come to DC more than once.

  • Bloodshy said:

    If Williams & Irving go 1, 2, the Jazz should trade the #3 to the Wizards for the #6 and #18 (or some other additional value). The Wiz are said to be big on Kanter and would likely be willing to give some real value to get him.

    Then, the Jazz could snag Jimmer @ #6 and they’d have two more solid picks in the first to add players like Leonard, Thompson, Burk or Brooks.

    I would take Irving or Williams over Jimmer for sure. But Jimmer would be such a solid fit for the Jazz. If those guys are gone, they should find a way to get Jimmer.

  • Sierra Blue said:

    There is so much buzz in the Sacramento area about Jimmer that it is all but a foregone conculsion the Kings take Jimmer at 7 if he is available. The Maloofs love him and the coach loves him. The only way Jimmer goes to the Jazz is if the Jazz want to use their #3 pick. That is highly unlikely. Jimmer goes to the Kings and those of us here in Sacramento will enjoy the treat. (Until the Kings move to Anaheim).

  • Ralph said:

    some good comments especially the idea of trading down to the #6 pick so the Wizards can get Kanter with the #3. However I. Really hope the Jazz waste their #12 pick on Thompson. Based on his history of drug problems at WSU, he has NBA bust written all over him

  • Ralph said:

    Oops. I meant “don’t” waste their #12 pick

  • Seasider said:

    The Jazz could always trade down and take Jimmer with slightly lower pick but I don’t really see that happening. The Jazz are gonna try to get the best pick they can at 3. Jimmer will likely be gone by the time the 12th pick comes around. It will be an interesting decision. If Jimmer turns out to be a bust, it will make O’Connor look good but if Jimmer turns out to be an all star and a major contributor to a championship team, Utah fans will never let the Jazz brass hear the end of it.

  • WaybackCougar said:

    The problem with Jimmer to the Jazz is that there is also a substantial percentage of the fan base dead against him. If he were to come and do well the animosity would likely fade fast. But if not, both Jimmer and Jazz management would incur a great deal of wrath from those fans.

    Though I’d love to see him here I think he’s going to be viewed as a very risky pick unless they can snag him at 12.

  • Vesparider said:

    I agree Wayback. Half if not more of the regular Jazz fans are not BYU fans. A certain percentage of them would find it difficult to accept Jimmer especially if he struggles to find a role in the NBA. I’m sure Jazz brass have considered that as well. No way Jimmer goes #3. Maybe 12 if he’s still there. I guess it depends on who the Jazz pick at 3 and if Jimmer ends up going before 12.

    All I know is the Jazz do need a go to guy/scorer besides Jefferson. He seems to be a black hole at times when he’s getting his 30 pts. I believe they need a serviceable point guard and and a star small forward. The front court is looking good with Jefferson, Favors and Milsapp with Okur coming off the bench if he’s healthy this year. It would help if the Jazz could depend on his outside shot as a bench player.

  • John said:

    I’m predicting that the T’wolves won’t take Williams, I mean they already have two guys just like him, in Love and Beasley. They have other needs. This works out perfect for the Jazz as they pick up Williams and pray to everything holy in the world that Jimmer is still around at 12. I also like The idea of trading the 3 pick for 6 and 18. good thinking Bloodshy.

  • LanceWArchibald said:

    John: In this two player draft there’s no way the Wolves don’t either pick Williams or trade to somebody who will. Like you said they don’t need him so I’m 99% sure that they’ll trade out of the 2nd pick to somebody who does want him (They’ll atleast just trade down one spot with the Jazz since the difference between 2 and 3 is so big this year).

    Bloodshy: You took the words right out of my mouth. The Jazz won’t take Jimmer at 3, but if they really want him (like they should since he’s the next Mark Price) they’ll trade down with the Wizards or Kings (there’s no way the King’s take him at 3) and take him at 6 or 7. Taking both of the Wizards first round picks wouldn’t be the way to go since we’re already young anyway, but people want the 3 pick so there would be no shortage of interest. Jimmer has a very good shot at rookie of the year, so I hope the Jazz go this route.

    I think that the likely scenario is that we do draft Knight, but that we keep Harris and start Knight at SG. He’s a combo guard so it would fit perfectly with our current roster. That way the jazz aren’t starting a rookie PG and they can move Hayward to SF where our real need is. If miraculously Jimmer is still around at 12 we would still definitely pull the trigger on him. He’s the obvious best player available and we still really need a backup PG. Down the road him and Knight starting in the backcourt would be amazing. Jimmer could guard the opposing PG and Knight could guard the opposing SG even if Knight is still the PG on offense. There’s no way we pass on him at 12.

  • Hoax said:

    KOC has a real dilemna. I never claim to have “sources” but on this one I actually do, and they like Jimmer. A lot. I also know they do not have the “intestinal fortitude” to take him at 3, and perhaps rightfully so.
    They’re not thrilled with Kanter, and they feel Knight is safe at 3, but not a critical need.
    Right now, I’m pretty sure they’re talking to Washington about swapping picks.
    If the Jazz trade down to 6, I think they’re taking Freddette.
    We’ll know on draft day.
    Again, if you see them go down to 6…say hello to Jimmer.
    If they don’t, and they pick Knight? Definitely no Jimmer.

  • Martin said:

    I remember listening to Larry Miller once on of his weekly call-in radio shows on 1320 KFAN. This particular week was rivalry week before the BYU-Utah football game (2007 I think), so of course the conversation turned towards the BYU-Utah rivalry and the host asked Larry if they had done any market analysis to determine what percentage of the Jazz fanbase were Utah fans versus BYU fans and Larry said they had and it was about 2 to 1 Utah fans over BYU fans. Of course this came as no surprise to me having attended many Jazz games since I was a kid. So even though I would LOVE to see Jimmer in a Jazz jersey I am doing as Brett advises and am not holding my breath. I don’t think the Jazz brass have the brass to pick a player as controversial as Jimmer, all other question marks about his abilities aside. Besides, I can think of at least three other teams where Jimmer would be better off, Phoenix being #1. Finally, Jimmer has been a gift from above when it comes to exposure for the LDS church (those who have been critical of Jimmer not serving a mission need to realize this) and the best way to continue this is to have him playing in a market that is not already 60% LDS.

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