Time For Sophomores To Step Up





HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – There’s one sure thing that we learned from last season’s rookie class: Kyrie Irving is a stud and will be a top-five point guard in due time.

The Rookie of the Year dealt with a shoulder injury late in the season, but was otherwise terrific in leading the Cleveland Cavaliers back to relevance just one year after LeBron James‘ departure. Ricky Rubio, of course, brought excitement to Minnesota before injuring his knee in early March.

But what of the other members of the 2011-12 rookie class? While there were some solid contributions on good teams made by the likes of Kenneth Faried, Kawhi Leonard, and Iman Shumpert, the class as a whole didn’t make much of an impact.

It’s much too early to judge last year’s rookies, though, as their first season came under some unique circumstances. First, the lockout canceled Summer League and kept them from working out with their teams for the five months following the draft. Then, they got an abbreviated training camp and little practice time in a condensed season.

So, while the summer after your rookie year is always important, this summer is absolutely huge for next year’s sophomores. They’ve got a taste of the league and know where they need to improve. Most important, they had Summer League and the opportunity to use team facilities and keep in contact with their coaches.

Jimmer Fredette was one of the most hyped members of last year’s rookie class, but shot just 39 percent in his first season with the Kings. Going into his second season, Fredette has a lot to prove if he wants to have a long NBA career.

Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune spoke with Fredette about the challenges of that lockout season and how the 6-foot- guard is preparing for his sophomore campaign…

Kings’ potential and having something to prove to Sacramento: Yeah, for sure. I mean, I’ve been in that position a lot. But, like I said, one thing that is good about me is, I’ve got better every single year at BYU and in high school. I think that’s going to happen soon. Same thing in the NBA. I work hard in the offseason to be a better play and be in good condition. But, also, going through a year knowing what you can and can’t do always helps you out. So, I’m excited to get out there and prove a lot of critics wrong. I don’t listen to it too much, but I know they’re out there. I know there are some out there.

Good to get the 2011-12 lockout season out of the way: Yeah. It was a tough year for ourselves as a Kings organization. Just with everything that went on and the lockout — everyone wasn’t used to that, myself especially. Then going into training camp, having everything be kind of crazy and get a coaching change right away. It was definitely tough. There was just a bunch of stuff going on around our team. I’m excited to have a full Summer League and then have a full training camp this year and show everybody that I can go out there and play, and I think that’ll be very, very beneficial to our whole team and myself to be able to do that and compete for a spot.

Fredette goes on to say that he plans on being a more aggressive and “fearless” scorer in his second season. So when the season starts in 78 days and we tune into the Kings on late-night League Pass, he’ll be one of the sophomores to keep an eye on.

What other second-year guys do you think might make the leap after a shaky rookie year?

51 Comments

  1. wooderson says:

    the unintelligence of nba fans and media alike is simply staggering. fredette has played one season of nba basketball and some are labeling him a “bust”. even if he turns out to not be as good as the hype it would not surprise a person with half a brain, doesnt anyone remember the hype surrounding adam morrison before and when he was drafted? exactly the same. what did you expect was going to happen? i for one hope jimmer has an awesomely successful year and career because i am a big fan of his game which is very similar to my own and he seems like a good bloke. i also hope adam morrison can make a fairytale comeback into the nba

  2. KING says:

    I like Jimmer but very disappoint about the Kings these years as fans…

  3. Swaggie boy says:

    Come on guys Jimmer just needs some time to develop into a really good nba player. For example, Rajon Rondo right now is one of the best PG in the league — if not the best — anyhoo, before in his first year he wasn’t that good the way he is now, he needed some time to develop. However, in the 08 playoffs he was their captain, whatever he did the celtics did. Now look at him one of the best PG.

  4. Jimbo_Slice says:

    Haters keep on hating or end up getting JIMMERED!!!!!!!!!

  5. Horacio says:

    When the 60th pick of the draft starts over you, you definitely have bust potential. He never averaged more than 5 apg at BYU so his point skills are basically nonexistent and his lack of defense and athleticism make it impossible to be a starter at pg. Jummers too small to be a successful 2 guard either, or even an effective role player. Guys like novak, bonner, or mike miller can come out and shoot because they have more size than jimmer. I expect his career to fizzle out in a few years

  6. steppx says:

    the maloofs dont want to win…..they hire cut rate coaches and staff…they ruined tyreke and are going to ruin jimmer .They have never had really good teams….and they dont try now. ITs

    • steve says:

      your right the maloofs dont let the coaching staff do there job and they do theres..like putting up money for a new arena,,before they go to Seattle…

  7. jaxwel13 says:

    i think from all they choose i pick Chandler Parsons of Houston as he will moved starting five and huge 2nd year this season so guys better watch him this year.

  8. VMX says:

    As a Kings fan I was so depressed when they traded for Jimmer. Guards his height need to be extremely athletic to make for his obvious shortcomings, and he is not athletic at all.

    • steve says:

      if hes not an athlete then y did he have 31 and 2,, 19 pts games in the summer leauge??? he needs to be traded to a team that will give him time to slip into there future,,and not give up on him…He has alot of potentual of becomeing ty lawson,,quick and can shoot..and let someone to take time for him to be on a team that will give him time to grow..steve

  9. Larry Johnson says:

    This is Jimmer’s year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jimmermania is back people!!!!!!!!

  10. Alex says:

    I think Norris Cole will develope nicely and will be very handy for the Heat.

  11. hopefull says:

    jimmer has the potential/talent but needs more minutes!!

  12. Dan K. says:

    Isaiah Thomas is the real deal sophomore on this King’s team. and it will be a shame if they bring someone in to replace him in the starting role after the great rookie year he had.

  13. Me says:

    Come on now Kyrie’s nice (a bit overrated IMO) but y’all overlook most of them e.g. Avery Bradley, Jeff teague and some others. So it ain’t their fault that they haven’t “stepped up” it’s yours.

  14. Mark W says:

    KLAY for TREY all DAY!!!

    1. Kyrie
    2. Klay Thomspon
    3. Kawhi
    4. Manimal

  15. NBEATZ says:

    HE willfind his ranges and his shooting % will go up. He’s not the best defender, but he is a 2 gaurd. He needs to be on a team that needs a 3 point shooter and that can catch hot at any time…….. when needed. Think of Ray Allen the last 4 years……. Now I’m not saying that he can come anywhere near Ray Ray, but something like that. Some team that has Defenders all around and that can afford him being on the floor. Some where like OKC, Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka, Perkins could use him for the 3 point shot at times,like they did with Fisher. In larger rolls with teams like Chicago,I could see him averaging 15PPG, 9-12 on 3’s. Like San Antoinio, like LAL and LAC, not to mention Indiana and Memphis. Give him the PROPER OPPERTUNITY and he should florish as a good 2nd or 3rd option. Sac is to loaded at the 1 and 2 anyway, trade him, and I bet he will be the benificary of the trade………………….GO HEAT

  16. karoLT says:

    Klay Thompaon & Isiah Thomas. And I think if Opportunity presents itself Derrick Williams is going to be a BEAST alongside K LOVE.
    Keep eyes on Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker, Marshon Brooks & Iman Shumpert(Defensive) just my bold predictions…. people say the draft was weak but due to unavoidable circumstances players cudnt grow as they shudav… Lets hope for the best guys. GOODLUCK

  17. Jim will mostly benefit if he goes team that does not have a go-to-guy probably Bobcats, Orlando, or SunS will try to trade for him.

  18. leon says:

    jimmer’s time to shine will just look on steve nash’s rookie season he is sharing minutes w/ great point guards like kevin johnson and jason kidd, nobody expect him to be great on his rookie season but look at him now he’s a 2 time mvp and a future hall of famer.

  19. TTKIN says:

    He’s lukc yhe’s a King…basically ZERO expectations.

  20. tj spittle says:

    jimmer is on a team tht has evans and thomas they started him as a rook so jimmer would b a better fit for some other team like phx, hou, or mem bc he would b better to b the scoring point he was in college bc sac wont give him tht chance

  21. DBULLZ13 says:

    Jimmy Butler is going to have a chance to prove him self in the Bulls rotation now that Brewer and Korver are gone. and By the looks of Summer League id say he’s about to have a big sophomore season. GO BULLS!!!

    • RosstheBoss says:

      I liked Jimmy Butler as well for Chicago. His athleticism, defense and ability to find points within the team flow was a big reason for the Bulls letting go of Brewer and Korver who were both far too limited on one end of the court or the other.

  22. chrisso says:

    send jimmer to the knicks!

  23. ZIp says:

    Kings needed a SF, but pick Jimmer? What? Kawhi Leonard would have been perfect. Instead they put Salmons, Garcia, and now Evans into an rotation of proven mediocrity. Granted, I don’t think we knew how much better of a shooter Leonard would be, but that’s a testament to his work ethic and willingness to develop–the kind of characteristics you want paired with gifted athleticism. Oh well, Sacramento has had outstandingly awful player development over the years, so Leonard isbetter off in San Antonio and Jimmer is stuck in Sac.

    • Sarge says:

      I’m really hoping Kawhi will take a huge leap this year. That, and some improvement from Tiago Splitter, may be the only things that can help the Spurs keep pace with the Lakers and their recent acquisitions.

      I honestly feel that the Spurs could have won it all. They picked a really bad time to have a slump, and OKC was way too talented to get by while the Spurs weren’t firing on all cylinders anymore. It’s going to be even harder this year, but I’m going to keep the faith! Go Spurs Go!

  24. chef chonoy says:

    i think manny of this sophomores will have a good year

  25. Brandon says:

    Has everyone forgot about Detroit??? Brandon Knight was a stud!

    • Blah says:

      The league doesn’t like to talk about Detroit because it’s a smaller market and is infamous for the Pacers-Pistons brawl which was extremely bad press for the NBA.

  26. Blah says:

    As @Amitpal said, Klay Thompson was looking like a pretty poised shooter last year and you’re thinking of Tristan Thompson by the way. Farried I expect to become a pretty good steal after that rookie campaign. Speaking of steals, I think Brandon Knight was a good one. Brandon Knight WILL be a great player. The kid has one of the smoothest threes I’ve seen and he’s consistently getting better at attacking the basket and his jumpshots all while leading the Pistons in his rookie year.

    As for players that need to step it up, I think a big one is Derrick Williams. #2 and hasn’t really shown it, now he’s probably going to get buried in Minnesota’s forwards. He should really be traded at this point. I’m curious as to how Biyombo will do too. He reminds me a bit of a primed Ben Wallace since he’s pretty short to play PF/C, but can smack away anything that comes at the rim. So I’d like to see him develop into that and help the Bobcats out. Kemba also stepping up and leading a bit more should also help the ‘Cats.

  27. Johnross says:

    Jimmer will be much better this year, Sac wanted him to come out and score 20 every night while trying to find his place in the teams offensive flow. I hope they’ve worked out if they want him to play the 1 or the 2 spot, he’ll be much more efective this year.

  28. system says:

    Sacs coach is awful. Nobody on that team was successful. Jimmer needs to try and find his way onto another team.

    • RayAllen34 says:

      Isiah Thomas? or even Marcus Thornton had a good season… Jimmer has too many small guards to compete with Tyreke Evans, John Salmons, Thomas, Thornton on the roster and now they sign Arron Brooks… Jimmer definately needs another team but the coach cant play Jimmer when there are 5 guys that beat him at his position

    • Once Again says:

      Isaiah Thomas dommed!!! What do you mean no one was successful?

    • steve says:

      If the Kings owners were so good they only had 1 team that did anything in the playoffs,,this is for ha ha,,the boogie man,,by the way i love disco,,so dont knock it down because they all had 1 on u…The Kings cant make up there minds were they want to go..They cant make up there minds who they want to play at center,,they cant make up there minds on the guard line..AND MOSTLY THEY CANT KEEP A PROMISE TO PAY 5 MILLION DOLLARS ON THE STARTING OF A NEW ARENA,,WITCH THEY HAD TO KEEP TO GET THE NEW ARENA STARTED,,,AND 5 MILL,,TO THEM IS CHANGE,,AND REAL CHANGE IF THEY DONT HURRY,,BECAUSE THE SEATTLE SONICS WILL BE BACK..NO THANKS FROM THE MALOFF BROS..tHERE ARE ONLY 2 TEAMS SINCE 1984 THAT HAVE HAD only 4 YEARS SINCE THEN THAT HAVE BEEN BELOW .500 AND MADE THE PLAYOFFS IN THOSE 28 YEARS AND HAD A ….PLAN,, THEY STAY WITH….THATS THE UTAH JAZZ AND THE LAKERS…WANT TO KNOW THE TRICK,,,, SINCE THE OTHER 28 TEAMS CANT FIGURE IT OUT??? ALL TELL U WHAT IT IS… PATIENT’S…HAVEING A PLAN AND STICKING TO IT..IF IT NOT FIREING THERE COACH EVERYOTHER YEAR,,ITS GIVING UP ON PLAYERS AND NOT GIVING THEM A CHANCE,,OR MAKEING A TRADE TO MAKE A TRADE,,WITHOUT HAVEING A PLAN FOR THE 13 PLAYERS THEY GOT…NO PLAYER HAS COME INTO THE LEAUGE,,INCLUDEING jORDAN,,AND WON IT ALL…IF U MOVE FROM YOUR PLAN WITHER ITS 2 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD,,OR 5,,OR 10..U WIND UP IN THE BASEMENT,,OR CLOSE TO IT..ASK THE WARRIORS TO..AND THE CLIPPERS HAVE HAD 2 GOOD YEARS SINCE THEY GOT PAUL..THEY BEEN THERE OVER 26 YEARS OF LOSEING..I WANT THE kINGS TO SUCSEED BUT THEY WONT THIS WAY..

      • non bandwagoner says:

        Typing in all caps does not make you sound intellegent. Future reference try making sense and staying away from caps.

  29. Chris says:

    Was this a Jimmet fluff article or what!

  30. Amitpal says:

    Klay thompson from the worries. I think this guy will do really well this year and same with cavs powerforward who’s name I cAnt remember right now. Its something thompkins or something. But yeah these guys should shine this year cuz there both officially moving to the starting lineup. And as for juniors look for john wall and cousins to have a very good year. Especially wall who I think is going to be special this year.

  31. shakenbake says:

    JImmer is a bust!

    • nba says:

      Correct!

    • lbj says:

      please send him to miami to help king win rings

    • steve says:

      if he’s a bust,,u dont know anything about pro ball..u cant play on a team were they tell him to do one thing 1 day and do something else the next day..plus there owners have no idea how to run a NBA team..Jimmers only hope is to be traded from this dumb org,,they call a team,,they say there doing 1 thing and do another..there turning into the clippers north before Paul got there..so on your comment …try again…its there front office thats a bust …not Jimmer,,he has’nty been there long enough to become a bust..study the leauge a little more,,before u make stupid statements like the Kings office makes…steve

      • haha says:

        you are an idiot if you think the maloofs can’t run an NBA team…they are just going through a phase…back in the early 2000…their team dominated…and if it wasn’t for the fixes…they would have at least had 1 championship

      • BogieMan says:

        Yeah, he’s no bust, he’ll get btter,look at Kwame Brown!!!

      • steppx says:

        too true, maloofs dont really want to win, and they destroyed tyreke and will do the same to jimmer. They have never had dominant teams, there arent fixes…..how idiotic.

      • jer says:

        they had a good team for like 2-3 years and it fell apart quicker than any other franchise has. btw that series wasn’t fixed.. there were bad calls but that’s just rediculous

    • Cwall says:

      you cant say someone is a bust after one (condensed, shortnened) year, it took rondo (and countless others) a few years to develop and look at him now