Jimmer Fredette signs two-year contract with Panathinaikos in Greece

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Golden State Warriors guard Jimmer Fredette questions referee Mark Lindsay after he was called for an offensive foul during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball summer league game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Sacramento, California, Tuesday, July 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Jimmer Fredette has signed a two-year contract with Greek team Panathinaikos of the EuroLeague after a short comeback stint in the NBA.

Panathinaikos BC plays in the OACA Olympic Indoor Hall in Athens, Greece; a venue that holds just shy of 19,000 occupants for basketball games. Since the 2001-02 season, the Greek basketball team has won four Euroleague championships in addition to a pair of top-four finishes, going 279-171 over that period.

Jimmer will join a number of top European talents, including point guard Nick Calathes and former Euroleague Final Four MVP and 2019 Basketball Champions MVP Tyrese Rice, who signed with the Greek squad on July 1. Jimmer will also play alongside past NBA draft picks Ben Bentil (round 2, pick 21), Marcus Denmon (round 2, pick 29), George Papagiannis (round 1, pick 13) and Deshaun Thomas (round 2, pick 28). Also on Panathinaikos are a pair of future draft hopefuls — 2020 NBA draft eligible Michail Lountzis and 2021 draft eligible Giorgos Kalaitzakis. Thanasis Antetokounmpo, brother of 2019 NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, played for Panathinaikos in 2018 but recently signed a contract to play with his brother in Milwaukee next season.

Jimmer’s departure from the NBA likely closes the door on another NBA comeback. The former NCAA National Player of the Year signed a two-year contract with the Phoenix Suns on March 22, a contract that came with a club option for the 2019-20 NBA season. The Suns elected to not bring Jimmer back, leaving him open for other options.

Jimmer wasn’t able to find his groove during his short NBA comeback tour, averaging just 3.7 points in 10.8 minutes of play. Perhaps the biggest surprise was Jimmer’s lack of shooting ability, shooting just .276 from the field, a drastic drop from shooting .467 over his three seasons with Shanghai.

Jimmer also saw time with the Golden State Warriors 2019 NBA Summer League squad, where he averaged 9.5 points in two games. His departure came after a strong performance in his first summer league game where he netted 14 points while gathering seven rebounds. Had he kept up the same pace, things likely would have ended differently for the former first-round pick; however, he followed up his stellar opening performance by recording just five points on six shots. This opened the door for overseas offers, with some saying that it would be his last opportunity with an NBA team.

The highest Euroleague contracts pay over $2 million per year, with Khimki Moscow and Alexey Shved making $4 million in 2018. Shved is a former NBA player, having seen time with the Timberwolves, Sixers, Rockets and Knicks. Jimmer made $1.8 million dollars a year in Shanghai during his last two seasons, signing a contract with the Suns that would have been worth $1.9 million dollars had they decided to keep him for the 2019-20 season.

The financial details of Jimmer’s contract with Panathinaikos have yet to be released, but it is likely he will be among the top-paid players in the Euroleague.

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