AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — Jimmer Fredette wanted to start over. The Chicago Bulls wanted to improve their outside shooting.
Each side is hoping for a perfect match.
joined the surging Bulls on Sunday after the team announced it had
signed the sharp-shooting guard for the rest of the season. The 6-foot-2
Fredette then played the last three minutes of Chicago's 109-90 victory
over the New York Knicks, drilling a long jumper for his first basket
with his new team.
"These guys did a great job the whole game and
got a big lead and I was able to get into the game," Fredette said. "I
don't really know the plays or anything like that. Just knew a few
simple things and ran those. But it felt good to get in there in front
of the fans, and to have a great win like that was great for us."
the 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft, was bought out by the
Sacramento Kings on Thursday and cleared waivers on Saturday. He is
averaging just 5.8 points and 11.1 minutes in his third season, but is
shooting 49 percent from 3-point range.
The Bulls, who have won
nine of 10, had been looking for more outside shooting since they lost
Marco Belinelli in free agency last offseason, and then traded Luol Deng
to Cleveland in January.
"Jimmer is going to be a hell of a
player here," said teammate Jimmy Butler, who had 19 points against New
York. "I hear he works incredibly hard, and we all know he can shoot the
The knock on Fredette is his defensive ability and finding
a way to get open for his accurate shot, but coach Tom Thibodeau said
he wants to come to his own conclusions about what the former BYU star
can do on the court.
"He's got to learn defensively what to do in
terms of team defense and that's usually the biggest adjustment,"
Thibodeau said before the game. "But the fact that he can shoot the way
that he can, I think it complements our primary scorers as well."
became a top NBA prospect when he led the nation in scoring at 28.5
points per game during his senior year with the Cougars, who made it to
the final 16 in the NCAA tournament in his last season. He was The
Associated Press player of the year, but he never lived up to his
billing in Sacramento after the Kings acquired him in a draft-day trade
It was clear his time with the Kings was coming to
an end when they decided not to pick up his option for 2014-15 before
"I appreciate everything that happened in
Sacramento," Fredette said. "It was character building for me continuing
to go out and play hard. I feel like I progressed as a player. Even
though sometimes you don't get the minutes you want to, you've just got
to continue to work hard and know that if you keep playing hard and
doing the right things then eventually things will turn your way."
of the top attractions for Fredette with the Bulls is Thibodeau, who
has a history of helping lower-tier free agents turn into valuable
commodities. Belinelli and Nate Robinson flourished in Chicago last
season, and D.J. Augustin has played well since he signed with the Bulls
"This time of the year, I think you're always
looking to get insurance for your team," Thibodeau said. "You like his
makeup. I think he can grow. I think he'll get better. So we'll see how
it unfolds. But you also have to remember you have to put the team