Sacramento Kings guard Jimmer Fredette looks on against the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Denver on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
DALLAS — Tony Snell knows Jimmer Fredette all too well.
As a freshman at New Mexico during the 2010-11 season, Snell ran into Fredette three times. The final time didn’t end well.
In the Mountain West Conference semifinals, Fredette dropped 52 on the Lobos, including seven three-pointers.
So the idea that the Bulls could be signing the former BYU standout, and Sacramento Kings underachiever, to a prorated portion of the veteran’s minimum, well, Snell would welcome him with open arms.
“That would be pretty cool,’’ Snell said Friday. “I mean after playing against him, to be on the same team, that would be nice.’’
Fredette, who was the 10th overall pick by the Kings in 2011, was averaging only 5.9 points per game for the Kings this season, but never really found a place in a team that had seemingly been in disarray since he arrived.
What can’t be overlooked was that Fredette was a career 40 percent shooter from the three-point line, including 36-for-73 (49.3 percent) this season.
“He would pull from anywhere [in college], and he can make it too,’’ Snell said. “That’s what makes him such a threat offensively.
“I definitely thought he was going to be a legit NBA scorer. I’m not sure what’s happened with him, but every situation is different.’’
And no situation might be better than the Bulls.
Like Nate Robinson, Marco Belinelli and D.J. Augustin, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has a proven track record in resurrecting careers and getting the most out of his players. That’s why TNT’s David Aldridge was reporting that Fredette was “strongly leaning’’ toward joining the Bulls and working with Thibodeau.
“I don’t want to speak specifically about players yet,’’ Thibodeau said, when asked about Fredette. “There are a number of guys that are good, and sometimes as we saw with D.J. it’s an opportunity to step in and add to what a team may need. Whatever the player, whoever we sign, if we do sign someone, we want them to play to their strengths, cover up their weaknesses, to understand what our team strengths are, what our weaknesses are, and fit in.
“The more shooting you have, the more it opens up the floor. And it’s just to create the space, too. I mean we want to open it up so we can attack off the dribble with our cuts, but it’s also how you compliment your primary scorers. We feel that’s an area of need.’’
As for Snell, three-point contests after practices would get very interesting with Fredette on board.
“Well, I better get better then,’’ Snell said.