Welcome to another edition of the Orlando Pinstriped Post Mailbag, in which feature Tyler Lashbrook and I tackle your Orlando Magic questions. You can submit one via email to OPPMailbag@gmail.com or via the Orlando Pinstriped Post Facebook page.
Let's get to today's topic.
cw2.pieper asks, via the FanShots:
Should the Magic be interested in Jimmer [Fredette]?
Fredette, set to take a buyout from the Sacramento Kings any day now, makes an interesting midseason buyout case. Typically, players who take February buyouts have several seasons' and a few postseasons' experience. The 2014 buyout crop includes such players as Danny Granger, Caron Butler, Metta World Peace, and the Magic's own Glen Davis.
But Fredette, a third-year guard set to leave a lottery team, stands as an outlier. A Kings team that, in theory, could use his shooting has instead decided to move forward without him. And so a 25-year-old former lottery pick will enter the free-agent market.
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Orlando makes sense as a possibility for Fredette given its deficiency in three-point shooting: the Magic rank 21st in three-point tries per game (19.9) and 18th in percentage (35.4). Ranged shooting is Fredette's stock in trade, as he's connected on 40.2 percent of his career triples while attempting 2.6 per game. Further, Fredette has improved his three-point percentage in each of his NBA seasons, including a 49.3-percent mark in the 2013/14 campaign.
To be clear, Fredette has weaknesses: his lack of size and quickness makes him a defensive liability, and he never quite developed into a playmaker; he has to play off the ball offensively, and yet there are few opposing point guards in the league he can check at the other end.
The Magic can afford to invest in players like Fredette: young, inexpensive specialists whom they can develop over the course of the team's rebuilding effort.
Having addressed those points, we ought to acknowledge the possibility of Fredette's landing in Orlando as remote. Between Victor Oladipo and Arron Afflalo, the Magic have scant few wing minutes available. And in E'Twaun Moore and Doron Lamb, Orlando already has two combo-guard types in whom it has invested over a year of player-development capital. As Tyler recently noted, the final months of the Magic's season afford them the opportunity to evaluate Moore and Lamb, whose futures with the club remain up in the air. Adding Fredette would cut into their minutes and thus complicate the process of assessing how they might fit with the team.
One could argue Fredette boasts more upside than either Moore or Lamb, but I'd counter that Orlando's familiarity with those incumbent players trumps whatever advantage Fredette's reputation gives him. You may, of course, feel differently.
In short, cw, signing Fredette has its merits. The league certainly has room for specialists, and Fredette's expertise aligns with one of Orlando's most significant needs. Ultimately, I don't see a gaping chasm between what Fredette offers and what the likes of Lamb, Moore, and 10-day contract signee Adonis Thomas do, which explains my indifference to Fredette.
I am happy you thought to ask about him, however, as your doing so gives me a platform to make this point: when looking for players to fill out their rotations, rebuilding teams like Orlando ought to consider players like Fredette: young, skilled, inexpensive guys who flopped with their former teams for philosophical or fit issues.