Sacramento Bee writer says Jimmer Fredette should be Kings starter

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 26 2012 4:30 p.m. MST

Sacramento Kings guard and former BYU phenom Jimmer Fredette hasn't been able to replicate his scoring prowess so far in his NBA career. But one Sacramento writer thinks it's time to give Fredette a bigger role.

Sacramento Bee deputy sports editor Victor Contreras wrote Wednesday that Fredette should get another chance to start at point guard for the Kings.

Contreras likens Fredette's situation to New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow's lack of playing time. Like the Jets and their quarterbacks, the Kings have struggled mightily at the point-guard position.

While Tebow hasn't really had a chance to prove himself in New York, Contreras argues that Fredette's play has earned him more minutes.

"When Fredette plays more than 20 minutes, he averages 16.5 points," Contreras wrote. "Starting point guard Aaron Brooks averages 9.2 points in 24.2 minutes, and Isaiah Thomas gets 9.9 points in 19.5 minutes."

Fredette started seven games last year as a rookie, but he soon lost his role to fellow rookie Thomas, who started 37 games last season and eight this year.

However, Kings coach Keith Smart hasn't been able to settle on a point guard rotation since Tyreke Evans suffered a bone bruise to his knee earlier this season. Fredette, Thomas and Brooks have all had ups and downs in inconsistent minutes.

The numbers show that Fredette has improved this season, though. In only 13 minutes per game this season, he has posted 8.2 points per game on 45 percent field goal shooting and 40 percent three-point shooting. All of those are increases from last year.

Fredette has also become a more efficient player, scoring more points with fewer shot attempts and earning more free throws. In fact, this season he has posted a Player Efficiency Rating (an all-in-one statistical formula) of 21.55 -- higher than stars like Paul Pierce, Dwight Howard and Kyrie Irving, according to ESPN.

While Player Efficiency Ratings attempt to take per-minute play into account, there's no guarantee that giving Fredette more minutes would result in better numbers. But Contreras argues that it's time to find out.

"The Kings have the second-worst record in the Western Conference at 9-18, and the playoffs are unlikely," Contreras wrote. "So why not give Fredette a chance to start and see what happens? Give him the ball, give him a chance. At least the Kings will know for certain if Fredette has a future in the NBA or in Europe."

Email: lshumway@desnews.com; Twitter: TheShums

Read more about Jimmer Fredette's role with the Sacramento Kings on the Sacramento Bee.

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