It's official. BYU's all-time leading basketball scorer is hitting the open market in the NBA.
The Sacramento Kings announced Thursday afternoon that the team and Jimmer Fredette have mutually agreed to a buyout, making the former Cougar a free agent.
The former Cougar guard averaged 5.9 points per game this year for the Kings while playing just 11.3 minutes per game. He has shot 49.3 percent from 3-point range this season.
Fredette turned to Twitter to thank the fans and the Sacramento organization for the opportunity he had spending nearly three seasons with the Kings.
I wanted to thank the kings fans, coaches, my teammates, and @Vivek for my opportunity in Sacramento. I have made some life long friends— Jimmer Fredette (@jimmerfredette) February 27, 2014
Here and appreciate everyone involved. Excited to start the new phase of my career! Thanks to all again.— Jimmer Fredette (@jimmerfredette) February 27, 2014
“This was a very tough decision, but we’re confident that the agreement reached today represents the most productive path forward, both for Jimmer and the Kings,” Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro said in a press release. “Echoing a sentiment that everyone who knows him appreciates about Jimmer, he’s a tremendous person and a consummate professional. We thank him for the meaningful contributions he made to the team and in the Sacramento community. On behalf of an entire organization, we wish him nothing but great success in the future.”
New reports indicate a pair of Eastern teams have shown interest in the former BYU basketball star.
ESPN reported Thursday that sources have said the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers are interested in acquiring Fredette. That comes one day after ESPN reported that the Memphis Grizzlies may be in the running for Fredette's service; however, the Grizzlies claimed former New York Knick Beno Udrih off waivers later Wednesday.
The Chicago Tribune also reported that the Bulls are expected to show interest in adding Fredette as the team's "13th player." The extent of Chicago's interest is expected to be in evidence after the team's success or failure in acquiring a pair of other players who recently completed buyouts — Caron Butler and Danny Granger.
"If Butler and Granger sign with teams that possess greater championship chances, Fredette could serve as a decent consolation prize (for Chicago)," the Tribune's K.C. Johnson wrote.
Fredette could fill the Bulls' need for a sharpshooter, something coach Tom Thibodeau has said the team is searching for.
Cleveland's potential pursuit of Fredette is likely to hinge on the health of current Cavaliers guards Dion Waiters (ankle injury) and former Jazzman C.J. Miles (knee), according to the Akron Beacon Journal. If Waiters and Miles are expected to miss expected playing time, that could increase the Cavaliers' interest in signing Fredette, the Beacon Journal's Jason Lloyd wrote. More information on Waiters' and Miles' statuses is expected Thursday.
Because Fredette's buyout became final before the league's deadline of midnight ET Saturday, he will be eligible to appear in the playoffs with whatever team he signs with.
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