Bulls close to signing Fredette

The Bulls look like they're going to chase a buyout candidate after all, and Jimmer Fredette looks like their man.

According to Mark Stein, sources have the Bulls and Fredette in serious discussion which trumps other rumors of Bulls "being interested" which has been the phrase where Chicago was linked amongst a bunch of teams in the past.

Sources told ESPN.com on Thursday that -- while stressing a deal is not yet complete -- serious mutual interest between the sides has made Fredette's landing with Chicago look increasingly likely.

After completing a contract buyout Thursday with the Kings, Fredette can't officially sign a contract with the Bulls or any other team before clearing waivers Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.

But sources say the former BYU star, drafted No. 10 overall by the Kings in 2011, is highly intrigued by the prospect of playing for Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who -- in spite of his defense-heavy reputation -- has put score-first guards such as Nate Robinson and more recently D.J. Augustin in position to flourish.

I'm not going to lie to you and pretend I've watched so many Kings games that I an offer a really great scouting report on Fredette. Looking at his stats, he looks like a Nate Robinson type. He can obviously create some based on his per 36 scoring numbers. His three point percentage and attempts show that he can shoot.

His overall PER on the season was over 16, which means he certainly stacks up pretty well for a guy getting bought out (guards typically don't have heavily inflated PERs). So what's the catch? I would wager a guess that he can't defend a rock (probably not scissors or paper either).

That said, the Bulls can always use extra scorers. They've got plenty of defenders out there, and Fredette has apparently noticed the Bulls have a long tradition in getting undersized, non defensive, volume chucking shooters better contracts upon their leaving the organization.

It's a Bulls tradition that dates back to Jannero Pargo, but in the Thibodeau era, we've seen John Lucas, Nate Robinson, and D.J. Augustin all go from basically out of the league to guys deserving multi-year, greater than minimum salary deals. [Obviously an assumption on Augustin's part, but seems highly likely].

Speaking of Augustin...

He's four for 30 over his past three games and one for 16 from beyond the arc. I can't help but wonder if the Bulls reaching out to Fredette is a hedge against Augustin continuing to spiral out of control with terrible shooting.

Fredette will take someone's minutes if he comes to Chicago, and my best guess is that the two guard Hinrich/Augustin lineup is replaced by the Hinrich Fredette lineup to add more size [even if just a bit] to the group. He'll also likely steal some time from Tony Snell.

If this were a month ago, I'd be hoping that he'd steal time from Kirk Hinrich, but Kirk's actually played very well recently, so not only does it seem unlikely, but it doesn't seem that practical if things continue.

Bulls to win 45?

I did some schedule analysis yesterday [awfully quick schedule analysis mind you], and if the Bulls won every game I picked them to be favorites, lost every game I picked them to be underdogs, and split the even games, they'd finish the season with 45 wins.

It won't turn out that way of course, but it shows the overall schedule is favorable despite a brutal patch where they play more or less every elite team in the league in one chunk of games which gives them something like seven of eight games where they are extreme underdogs. Outside of that stretch, they're favored in virtually every other game this season.

Since I have the Bulls favored more than not, the odds are that the simple analysis will over-estimate the total [ie, if you win 2/3rds of the time you're favored and 1/3rd when you're not, the Bulls will lose a couple more than the simple prediction.

What's interesting now is looking at the seedings and wondering where would you really want to finish? I'd rather play Brooklyn or Charlotte in the first round than Washington whom the Bulls are presently matched up with at four. Would you rather square off against Indiana or Miami in the second round?

I think I'll take Miami at this point, maybe not because the odds are better at winning, but I think the Bulls would give Miami a tougher series than the other opponents, and I'd like to see them beat up more when they play Indiana. That said, I like Chicago's odds of winning at Indiana better, so in that sense, the four seed isn't so bad either.

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  • It will be interesting. Damn, shooting 49.3% from 3 this year? That's nuts. I am now warming up to Jimmer.

    Based on the success of these little guards, maybe the Bulls should play two of them together to open up the offense. I think with Taj and Noah anchoring the D, the Bulls can get away with playing small on the defensive end. Butler at the SF also helps.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Was just perusing the RealGM board and someone who follows the Kings closely, and seems to be a serious stats guy, said that Jimmer has hit 89% of his corner threes (not a typo). I have not verified this but, if true?

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    I imagine that is a result of small sample size(and great shooting). My guess is that he is 8 of 9 on corner 3's this season.

  • People may scoff at Fredette, but he does have by all accounts good character and a real competitor. He may suck defensively, but in Thib's defense he may actually be viable for limited stretches as a Eddie House role bomber considering his crazy shooting skills. Will be interesting to watch.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I agree. I think if he can play off the ball and be used as a spot up shooter, it could really work.

  • I just like the idea of having a Jimmy and a Jimmer on the team. Maybe it will entice King Jim to leave Miami this summer and go play with his kin.

  • In reply to Hoover:

    :)

  • He does seem to have a pretty quick release and I think he can be a good bench scorer with thibodeau who likes to use screens to free up shooters. Can he play PG and can he give effort on defense like Korver did. I like the signing, maybe they can tie him up for a two year minimum and go for a center or shooting guard in the draft instead of another pg.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Korver is a much bigger and better athlete.

  • Jimmer makes a ton of sense for the Bulls, provided they get him to take a prorated portion of the vet's minimum. I posted the same thing on Tuesday morning in the comments section of the Thibs article. Hope it happens, I just want to see them add shooters any way that they can. My friend is a Kings fan from Sacramento who watches most of their games, and he thinks that Jimmer has just been misused in Sacto and could help as a spot shooting rotation player for a better team.

  • Given our limited resources, I'm thrilled that we are making any move. As has been mentioned, he seems to be a hard working, serious about basketball as his craft and a good character guy, exactly a Bulls type player, and he has above average, perhaps superb skill that we need in spades, 3 point shooting.

    Not nearly as flashy as the Clips getting Big Baby and Granger, but still a pick up that I'll be interested to watch, at least until he turns out to be another Ben Gordon/BozoHole on defense. However, I actually doubt that he is that kind of guy, I bet he work his butt off on D, but probably just doesn't have the athleticism or size to be any good at it. Seems like the kind of guy that Thibs should be able to get the most out of, assuming he decides to play him at all without an injury to someone else.

  • As for playoff seeding, it is way too early and too close to tell what is going to happen. I'd say that you have 4 teams jockeying for the 3-6 slots, maybe 5 if Charlotte can maintain their recent pace.

    I agree that we would rather play Brooklyn or Charlotte in the first round rather than either Toronto or Washington. I also agree that I'd rather play Miami in the second round just to play them hard and piss them off. Not sure that I agree that we would have a better chance to beat Indy though.

  • I kind of feel like the Jimmer signing will replace what we lost with Bellinelli. Another shooter off the bench that could randomly get hot and win a game. I'd love to see it be more but I think overall that will be his level of impact

  • I think the talent is obviously a fit, but does this affect the repeater tax? And is there a possibility that he could be on next years team when Chicago will actually compete? Maybe it's wishful thnking, but I'm hoping for some kind of hand shake deal involving the 14/15 season.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    As I've detailed here in the past, Bulls are in NO DANGER of entering Repeater Tax territory as they have paid luxury tax in only 1 season in the entire history of the franchise (2012-13).

    What avoiding luxury tax this season accomplishes is opening a window (the Mirotic Era perhaps) where Bulls can pay luxury tax for the next two seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16) without fear of the repeater tax. This will give Bulls added flexibility in making roster moves the next couple seasons.

    Soon thereafter, don't be surprised if new commissioner Adam Silver ushers in the hard-cap era. He and the owners will certainly try, the only question is when will Silver succeed.

  • In reply to Edward:

    got it, thanks Edward!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    but how does it affect that window you speak of?

  • In reply to Edward:

    Repeater tax is for paying the tax in three of four years, not four of five.

    If the Bulls pay the luxury tax the next two seasons, in that second season it will be repeater tax. From Larry Coon's CBAFAQ:

    "For 2015-16 and all subsequent seasons, teams pay an incremental rate based on their team salary. They pay the repeater rate if they were taxpayers in at least three of the four previous seasons."

    So your scenario of paying the tax in 2014-15 and 2015-16 would have them pay the tax (3 of the past 4 years).

    If the Bulls avoid paying the tax this year, it's highly likely they will not pay the tax next year due to likely getting below the cap or being around the cap, and they should be good to then pay it in 2015-16 and 2016-17 if necessary without going into repeater penalty (2 year gap means they won't hit 3/4 mark).

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Sorry Doug,
    Larry Coon is the expert, but you misinterpreted Larry Coon's writing. The meaning of the word PREVIOUS eluded you.

    If Bulls pay luxury tax in 2012-13, 2014-15, 2015-16, yes that equals 3 out of 4 seasons (making Bulls eligible for repeater tax the following season 2016-17). To review, in the 2016-17 season Bulls will have paid luxury tax in 3 of 4 PREVIOUS seasons (not in 2015-16).

    Bulls must then pay luxury tax in 2016-17 to incur the repeater tax. If Bulls avoid luxury tax in 2016-17, then there is no repeater tax in 2016-17, because repeater tax is calculated upon luxury tax.

    Legal writing can sometimes be confusing.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    According to Deeks, as long as Taj doesn't end up on the Defensive 1st team, Bulls can sign Jimmer at the minimum for the remainder of the season and still be under the luxury tax amount. Knowing that the NBA loves to stick it to us (Derrick Rose Rule!!!) I wouldn't be surprised if Taj makes the Defensive 1st Team now.

    I like this signing as well and hope he can return to next years team but I am not sure what options other than cap room or Cap Room MLE we are going to have available to bring him back. I just dont want to see a lineup of DJ, Jimmer, Dunleavy, Booz and Nazr on the floor together, think Thibs would spontaneously combust on the first defensive possesion.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    You and Thibs might not like that lineup but boozer would feel like a pig in slop.

  • Actually Doug, I believe the Bulls long tradition of getting undersized, non defensive, volume chucking shooters better contracts upon their leaving the organization began with:

    Your Boy-Toy, Ben Gordon.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Touche.

  • Jimmer has pretty good upside for a buy out candidate. He fits the mold of other guys who have taken a while to transition their games to the NBA. The Kings new coach seems decent but before this season they were a hot mess. Interested to see what Thibs can get out of him.

    Also the Heat are only 1 loss behind Indiana, who've cooled off. Wouldn't be shocking if the Heat take the one seed.

  • I've hoped the Bulls would go after either Fredette or E'taun Moore since their drafts. Love the Fredette move.

  • While the Bulls may finish with the 3rd best record in the conference, the only way for them to avoid playing in the 4/5 game is to finish either 6th or 7th since they will be in 2nd place in their division.

  • In reply to RufusHummingbird:

    That's not how the seeding works, the Bulls can be the #3 seed without winning their division. The winner of the putrid Atlantic division will be no worse than the #4 seed.

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