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Jimmer Fredette will participate in The Basketball Tournament, eyes NBA return

The Cougar legend hopes playing for the $2 million prize will help him catch the eye of some NBA decision-makers.

Portland Trail Blazers v New York Knicks Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

BYU basketball legend Jimmer Fredette plans to play in this year’s iteration of The Basketball Tournament, a high-level summer event whose $2 million grand prize draws several professional players from the NBA fringe and overseas leagues. Fredette hopes to use the stateside exposure to land a gig back in the NBA after his current contract with the Shanghai Sharks expires.

Here’s a window into Fredette’s thinking from the original ESPN report:

Jimmer Fredette, the former BYU star and first-round NBA draft pick, will compete in this year’s edition of The Basketball Tournament with one goal in mind -- earn another spot in the NBA.

”I would always love to get another chance in the NBA,” Fredette told ESPN.com. “I’ve gotten better in China and improved every year. ... You hope somebody takes notice.”

[...]

He said his time in China has helped him mature as a player. The competition in the TBT, he said, will help him prove it.

The strategy isn’t a bad one for Fredette, if he’s intent on making one more run at a stateside return. All in all, 68 former NBA players laced up in the TBT last year — with 16 signing contracts with NBA teams this season, according to the event’s organizers.

Jimmer still has a year remaining on his two-year contract in China, which he intends to honor, meaning that any NBA shot likely couldn’t come before the end of next year’s CBA season — usually in February, just as the NBA’s post-All Star Break buyout market is heating up. That timing could offer some fortuitous opportunities for BYU’s all-time leading scorer, if he’s able to catch the right team executive’s eye with his play over the summer.

Fredette sponsored and coached a team in last year’s TBT, Team Fredette, but he’ll officially cross over the sideline and onto the court this summer. Here’s to a chance to watch Jimmer do his thing on American soil again very soon!