The New Orleans Pelicans officially announced a few minor signings on Wednesday. Former BYU star and current NBA-journeyman guard Jimmer Fredette and NBA Summer League standout Patric Young were signed to deals. The details of those deals, however, were undisclosed, but ESPN’s Marc Stein reports Fredette’s deal is a one-year contract worth the league minimum.
Both Fredette and Young will find themselves in Pelicans uniforms this year, and could potentially find a way to make an impact with the team. Starting off with Young, he was a standout at both the University of Florida and with the Pelicans this year in Summer League. The 6’9″ Young averaged 7.4 points per game, along with 8.0 rebounds and 0.8 blocks. If you watched him during his tenure at Florida, you’d know that he’s a beast in the post, and can grab his fair share of rebounds.
But that’s college, and this is the NBA. They’re two completely different worlds.
Young is not only undersized at center, but maybe even at power forward. He shot just over 50 percent from the line in his senior year at Florida, so even if he does draw some fouls while in the paint you can’t expect too much. Young will get a chance to prove himself though, in a big-man starved lineup, aside from Anthony Davis and Omer Asik. He could potentially be another big body in the post to help contend in the West, however.
Now onto Jimmer, the former NCAA Tournament star. Jimmer carries the reputation of being an elite three-point specialist, something the Pelicans were pretty solid with last year. While his deep-shooting won’t hurt his chances to help the team, obviously, they aren’t a huge selling point. What does help Fredette is that New Orleans could be holding auditions for a new backup point guard with Brian Roberts gone.
Fredette will face competition from second round pick Russ Smith and former Duke Blue Devil Austin Rivers. At 25 years old, Jimmer has a career average of 6.9 points per game, shooting 40 percent from deep. He’s never really had a huge chance to prove himself, especially when he started with the Sacramento Kings. Could Jimmer finally get a legitimate shot in New Orleans? Possibly. He’d have to beat out a guy like Russ Smith, who has already earned some serious praise from upper management.
Both Young and Fredette are coming onto a team with a solid, young core (Davis, Jure Holiday, Eric Gordon) and in theory, they would fill positions of need. It’s too early to start projecting any player roles, lineups, or anything of the sort. New Orleans is looking to make the playoffs this year however, especially after the Asik trade. If Jimmer and Patric don’t impress early on, their leashes could be very short, and their stints in New Orleans could come to an abrupt halt.
Since the Pelicans likely didn’t break the bank to sign these two, they aren’t bad signings. Low risk, potentially nice reward. New Orleans could potentially be a sleeper team to contend in the West as long as Anthony Davis is healthy, and Young and Fredette could look like genius signings come next season.