It's said in New Orleans "laissez les bons temps rouler" or "let the good times roll". Good times are exactly what Jimmer Fredette needs after a lackluster start to his professional career in Sacramento and Chicago. And while some fans of the former BYU star are disappointed with the lack of interest Fredette garnered this off-season and the one-year deal he signed with the Pelicans at the league minimum, the fact is Fredette needed a place to play and he's got one in New Orleans. I caught up with Rohan Cruyff (@Rohan_Cruyff), managing editor at SB Nation's New Orleans Pelicans site, The Bird Writes to discuss how Fredette fits with the Pelicans and his potential future in NOLA. I've got a feeling BYU Basketball fans are going to like what he had to say.
Vanquish the Foe: How do you feel Jimmer Fredette will fit on the Pelicans' current roster? And what role do you see him playing?
The Bird Writes: Fredette will largely slide into the role vacated by the outgoing Anthony Morrow as an important shooting option off the bench. The Pelicans took fewer threes than all but one team in the NBA last season, something that will absolutely have to be corrected next year, especially because playmakers like Tyreke Evans desperately need teammates that can space the floor. He'll also likely be asked to serve as an emergency 3rd point guard in the event of any injuries.
VTF: One of Jimmer's biggest struggles during his career has been getting on the floor, what will he need to do well to earn those minutes on this team?
TBW: In a nutshell, just hit open threes. Monty Williams has often been (rightly) criticized for not having his team shoot enough threes, instead relying on inefficient long twos. However, the threes he does draw up he's been very clever and effective with. Over his tenure as Pelicans/Hornets head coach, he's fielded Marco Belinelli, Roger Mason Jr., Anthony Morrow, and Ryan Anderson, all of whom have enjoyed splending shooting years in New Orleans. Fredette steps into that same role now, and he'll be afforded every opportunity to prove he can be an important shooter.
VTF: Who will be Jimmer's main competition for those minutes?
TBW: If we're breaking it down just positionally, the Pelicans are relatively full at the guard position between Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Austin Rivers, and Russ Smith. But hearkening back to your last question, Jimmer brings catch-and-shoot ability that's unique and that is, importantly, a like-for-like replacement to something New Orleans had a year ago in Morrow and lost. So in terms of competition for his specific role, Jimmer has something pretty good going here.
VTF: What seems to be the general feeling from Pelicans' fans in regards to the Jimmer signing?
TBW: I'll be honest and say general ambivalence. The outgoing Morrow is one of the most underrated shooters in the league and frankly, by any metric, one of the great three point shooters in NBA history that people haven't appreciated. It was a definite blow to lose him. Kings' fans haven't had the most glowing reviews of Jimmer's time either, but it's important to note that he'll be asked to do very different things with New Orleans than he did in Sacramento. I think Pelicans fans will come around to that relatively quickly if he can keep knocking down shots.
VTF: Jimmer only signed a one-year deal with the Pelicans. At this point, do you see any potential that he could have a long-term future with New Orleans?
TBW: Oh, absolutely. One thing I'm personally disappointed with is that the Pelicans didn't include a second-year team option on the deal. Fredette's still young, can shoot, and he's joining a team that badly needs a great shooter it can rely on. Anthony Davis is about to enter his prime and take New Orleans into a few postseason runs, and shooting will be important. If Fredette can follow through with his shooting, perhaps add a couple wrinkles as a playmaker, and be a good cultural fit (which he should have no problem with), I wouldn't be surprised if this current 1-year deal extends into the future.