CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls and former BYU sensation Jimmer Fredette have tentatively agreed to a contract after he parted with the Sacramento Kings earlier in the week, a person familiar with the situation said Saturday.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.
The sharp-shooting guard was bought out by the Kings on Thursday and cleared waivers on Saturday. Now, he’s getting a second chance with the Bulls.
Fredette is averaging just 5.9 point and 11.3 minutes in his third season. But the Bulls are hoping “Jimmermania” will take off in Chicago after staying grounded with the Kings — or that he will at least give them the outside touch they were seeking.
Chicago is making a playoff push despite losing former MVP point guard Derrick Rose to another season-ending knee injury and trading away one of its best players in Luol Deng. The Bulls were second in the Central division at 32-26 after beating Dallas on Friday night for their eighth win in nine games.
As well as they’re playing, though, they were still last in the NBA in scoring, 28th in overall shooting and tied for 26th in 3-point percentage.
That’s where Fredette, who turned 25 on Tuesday, could help.
Even though he hasn’t developed into a consistent contributor, Fredette is shooting 47.5 percent from the floor and 49.3 percent from 3-point range.
Fredette dazzled at BYU, leading the nation in scoring at 28.5 points per game and guiding the Cougars to the final 16 in the NCAA tournament as a senior. He was the Associated Press’ player of the year and the 10th pick in the 2011 draft, but he never lived up to his billing in Sacramento. The constant chatter about moving not to mention the fact that he played for three coaches and two ownership groups probably didn’t help, and it was clear his time with the Kings was coming to an end when they decided not to pick up his option for 2014-15 before this season.
Chicago could be a good fit for him, given his ability to stretch the floor even if he’s not exactly a top-tier defender.
Marco Belinelli and Nate Robinson weren’t, either, but they flourished under Thibodeau last year and parlayed their success into contracts with other teams. D.J. Augustin is excelling this season, averaging 13.3 points since he signed with the Bulls in December after being waived by Toronto.
If Fredette can knock down shots and show some improvement on defense, he could find a role with the Bulls at least for the rest of the season.