Fredette gets time at two positions in Kings' preseason win over Lakers
10/11/2013 12:00 AM
10/12/2013 3:10 PM
LAS VEGAS – For most of his career, Jimmer Fredette has been a point guard, the man making decisions with the basketball.
But to find his way onto the court for the Kings, Fredette will have to be more than a point guard.
Fredette is playing point and shooting guard for Michael Malone as the new coach experiments with how to get Fredette and his needed shooting ability on the court.
Malone took his first look at Fredette in a game during the Kings' 104-86 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Fredette didn't play in Monday's loss at Golden State. He was one of three new starters Thursday along with Travis Outlaw and Patrick Patterson. Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins started for the second game in a row.
Fredette began the game as the shooting guard but also played the point. He had seven points and three assists in 21 minutes.
"It felt good to be out there, just to play and get your bearings right," Fredette said. "It's the first game I played this season. It was great. It was a lot of fun. We played well as a team, and we really shared the ball well."
The third-year guard from BYU remains wildly popular, even drawing cheers in what was a Lakers home game.
Questions about Fredette's defense, position in the NBA and whether he can get his shot off quickly enough against pro defenders have been among the reasons his playing time has been inconsistent through two seasons.
Fredette has been solid during the offseason, and Malone wants to give him a chance to show what he can do.
"I see him as a combo (guard), a guy you can use on the ball and off the ball," Malone said. "He has a high basketball IQ, he has the ability to make plays for his teammates, and he's one of the better shooters on our team from the perimeter. So I think that's the luxury you have with a guy like Jimmer, on and off the ball."
Though Fredette didn't play Monday, he remained upbeat about his spot with the Kings. He said communication with the coaching staff has been good, and he feels the coaches have faith in him.
"The best thing about it is I think they believe in me to score the basketball and they're just going to let me play my game," Fredette said. "You do the best that you possibly can, but I think I've progressed and I've done some good things this training camp and I'm excited about the opportunity to be out there."
As for playing off the ball, Fredette is fine with that. It means he will get a chance to play. Even though his shooting percentages improved last season, his minutes per game decreased from 18.6 as a rookie to 14 .
"Whatever gets me minutes on the floor, that's what I'll do," Fredette said.
The Kings have plenty of guards. Sacramento acquired Greivis Vasquez in a trade and drafted Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum.
Fredette is hopeful his versatility will lead to playing time.
"We have a lot of flexibility with a lot of guards, and I'll continue to find my way and do whatever it is that gets me on the floor," he said.
Outlaw scored a team-high 18 points in the win. Cousins had 16 points and 12 rebounds. Thomas had 10 points and nine assists for the Kings (1-1). The Lakers (2-2) were led by Jodie Meeks' 19 points. Steve Nash (sore ankle) only played the first half.
Video highlights from Kings' 104-86 preseason win over the Lakers:
Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.
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