The Knicks will sign guard Jimmer Fredette to a 10-day contract to fill the open spot on their roster. Fredette, who is playing with their D-League team in West chester, will join them for Monday’s game against Toronto.
Unable to pull off a trade for a point guard or shooter by Thursday’s trade deadline, the Knicks turned to the former national college player of the year. But they hope to make a playoff push, so it doesn’t appear likely that Fredette will crack the regular rotation right away, if at all.
Fredette, who scored a record 35 points in last week’s D-League All-Star Game in Toronto, won’t supplant Jose Calderon or Langston Galloway. The Knicks also drafted Jerian Grant last year and want to develop him.
“I’m going to do what I can in practice and do what I can in games to see what he can bring because it’s going to be a short period of time that he’s going to be with us,” interim coach Kurt Rambis said. “I have to figure out as quickly as possible if he can help us. We have to try and integrate him and see if we can use him in some way.”
Fredette was drafted 10th in 2011 by the Bucks — ahead of All-Stars Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler — but has bounced around the NBA, unable to find a home. Rambis said he doesn’t know if Fredette’s “size” has factored into that. He’s listed at 6-2 but appears shorter. Fredette, who led the nation in scoring as a senior at BYU, is a good shooter, but he’s not quick enough to guard most NBA guards.
Fredette has played 233 games for the Kings, Bulls and Pelicans, averaging 6.0 points and 1.4 assists and shooting 38 percent on three-pointers. He appeared in four games for New Orleans this season and averaged 0.5 points in 3.3 minutes.
“He can shoot the basketball,” Rambis said. “That’s what he’s known for. We have to see if he can actually handle the basketball and be able to create shots for himself and create shots for others.”
With Westchester, Fredette was averaging 22.3 points and 4.8 assists and was shooting 40.4 percent from three-point range entering Friday night’s game against Iowa.
“It’ll be an adjustment for him,” Rambis said. “Guys who are in the D-League, at that point in time, they’re not NBA ballplayers, so it’s a different level when you make the step up here.”