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  • HECTOR AMEZCUA

    Jimmer Fredette, sharing a laugh with Bulls assistant and ex-King Ed Pinckney in Las Vegas, hopes to stay with Sacramento.

  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Jimmer Fredette, left, congratulates Ray McCallum after his 23-point outing against the Warriors. Drafting McCallum and Ben McLemore further crowds the Kings at guard.

Fredette seeks fresh start with Kings

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 16, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jul. 16, 2013 - 7:02 pm

LAS VEGAS – Jimmer Fredette remains popular.

He's just looking for a fresh start and an opportunity to play more than sporadic minutes.

Fredette arrived in Las Vegas on Monday morning and promptly joined the Kings' coaching staff and teammates Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton and Jason Thompson for a workout.

While his name surfaces in trade rumors, Fredette, the consensus national Player of the Year at BYU in 2011, is waiting to see what happens next.

"Hopefully, I'll be a big part of this organization next season," Fredette said. "You never know what their vision is exactly, but that's why I'm here. I'm able to talk with them, meet with them and see what their vision is."

The Kings drafted guards Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum last month.

Tyreke Evans is gone, but Greivis Vasquez will replace him. Thomas and Thornton are back.

"We just have a ton of guards," Fredette said. "That's who they decided to draft, and I'm sure they have a game plan for what they want to do with this team. … Like I said, I don't worry about things I can't control. You worry about yourself, try to be a great teammate and be a great part of this team. That's what I worry about."

Coach Michael Malone said Fredette would be given a fresh start and an opportunity to earn playing time.

"As I told him, 'Jimmer, I've never coached you before, but you're a high-character kid. You're a kid I used to watch at BYU lighting it up. So you come in here, and it's an open tryout,' " Malone said. "Nothing is set in stone."

Fredette's playing time was unpredictable in his first two seasons. He showed he can score when given extended minutes but struggled with intense ball pressure and on defense.

He averaged 14 minutes per game last season, down from 18.6 in his rookie year.

"I know he can shoot the ball, but we need everybody to buy in on the defensive end," Malone said of Fredette, who averaged 7.2 points last season. "You have to be able to guard your man, step in the game and help us out. Make your shots. I know he hasn't had a tremendous opportunity to play consistent minutes, and he'll have to earn those here as well with me and my coaching staff.

"But he's a good kid. I'm happy he's here. I'm happy he came to work out with us, and I look forward to working with him in the future."

Fredette's name frequently comes up in trade rumors, and his $2.6 million salary is modest by NBA standards.

Fredette tries to tune out the trade chatter.

"It's hard not to hear about all the stuff that's going on, but you can't worry about it because it will drive you crazy trying to figure out the scenarios that are going to happen," Fredette said. "Because most of the time, it's something completely different you have no idea about."

Fredette remains optimistic he'll get a "clean slate" with the Kings.

"You have a whole new organization that just came in, and you don't exactly know what they're thinking about for you, but hopefully it's great things," Fredette said. "And hopefully, I'll be a part of it and be able to have a successful career here with this organization, and that's what I'm looking forward to."

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Jason Jones



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