ESPN sources say New Orleans is signing Jimmer Fredette to a one-year deal— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 18, 2014
Pelicans needed a shooter to replace Anthony Morrow and have closed on a deal with Jimmer Fredette, sources say— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 18, 2014
The Pelicans added some three point shooting off the bench and not a whole lot else in signing Jimmer Fredette for a one-year deal at the minimum tonight. Jimmer has played three years in the pros. The Kings bought out his contract in the middle of last season as new GM Pete D'Alessandro worked to remake the team, and the Bulls picked him up on a flyer. In the end, he only saw 500 minutes on the court last season.
He never had much of a chance in the swirling cauldron of crazy that is Sacramento - he was drafted right before the lockout, so he wasn't able to go to Summer League or training camp. His first coach was fired 7 games into the season. He didn't have any players to distribute to him on a guard-heavy team. The list goes on, and you can get a good summary of his woeful stint in Sacramento in this article.
Jimmer isn't particularly good at a lot of things - he's defensively challenged, rarely gets rebounds, and had a worrying uptick in his turnover rate last season to 17%. However, he is an excellent shooter - he has seen his 3pt percentage rise from 36% to 42% to 47% in his first three seasons in the NBA. In particular, he loves the corner three, having shot 52% from there in his career. That's a nice fit for a team that has three-point shooters that largely like to operate above the break. Here's his shot chart from last season - it looks like it has the measles:
That shot chart is from the excellent Nylon Calculus. Jimmer has one NBA-level skill set - if he can become serviceable on defense in New Orleans, he could potentially see playing time in a crowded backcourt.
League sources confirm Pelicans have signed Jimmer Fredette and re-signed Darius Miller— John Reid (@JohnReid64) July 18, 2014
Darius Miller, by contrast, will become part of an extremely bare Small Forward position for the Pelicans. Currently the Pellies have Miller, John Salmons, and perhaps Tyreke Evans part-time at the Small Forward slot. Let's take a look at Miller's shot chart now:
Yikes, that's not pretty. Miller had a really solid 54% field goal percentage on two-point attempts last season thanks to his good mid-range shooting. If he can extend that out to the three-point line, that would be pretty helpful. Incredibly, Darius Miller used only 13% of the team's possessions while he was on the floor last year, and he's not a particularly good rebounder.
Miller's value really comes from his defense - he's pretty good by the eye test and has the size (6'8") to play with any wing in the league. Last year, the Pelicans gave up almost 111 points per 100 possessions, but with Miller on the floor, they only gave up 106. Obviously, small sample size alert as well as garbage time alert, but Miller could be valuable if the three-point shot he's been working so hard on starts to fall for him.