In the Promontory Sports Summit, writers collaborate to answer five questions on a subject – plus a little more.
The first Promontory Sports Summit roundtable discussion for the panelists? Jimmer Fredette and the Kings. Let’s hear what Daniel Lewis (@minutemandan), Braeden Jensen (@CanadianBraeden), John English (@jermsguy), Jay Roberts (@j32jam), Clint Peterson (@Clintonite33), and Jacob Frankel (@Jacob_Frankel) had to say.
1) On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate Jimmer’s performance in the NBA?
John English - Jimmer gets a 3. We can argue he was put on a bad team with knucklehead talent, an unstable front-office, and a mediocre coach, but so was Isaiah Thomas and he found a way to thrive. Jimmer has actually showed some encouraging signs in his limited minutes. His per 36 averages show improvement in just about every category from last season. He doesn’t play defense, but he’s instant offense. Trouble is, he’s on a team where every guy feels like they should be the instant-offense guy.
Daniel Lewis - I would rate Jimmer’s performance at a three. Other guards that were taken after him, like Iman Shumpert, Marshon Brooks, Jordan Hamilton, Shelvin Mack, and Charles Jenkins have all out-produced him, some even earning actual playing time. While situation is definitely a factor as well, those other players went to other teams and made an impact. You can’t be too enthusiastic when the last pick of the draft plays better in your minutes than you were. That’s why I say a three. Not good, not even average, but not awful.
Jay Roberts - I would rate Jimmer’s performance a 4. I believe that if (I know ifs and buts were candies and nuts) he was in a different system his performance would be higher. Jimmer would thrive in team oriented offense, not the one that he is in now where every man for himself seems to rule the day. So overall, I would say better then expected because he has survived in a system that doesn’t use his strengths. He will never be an All-Star, but he could be Eddie House on the right team.
Braeden Jensen - I’d peg him at a 4 right now. If you ask me this question at the end of last year, I’m not sure he even gets a 2 from me. It’s been a tough road, as it seems that Jimmer is not a great fit on a team often considered selfish offensively. That being said, this year Jimmer has been making the most of the minutes he’s been given, forcing Coach Smart to give him a few more minutes in a crowded backcourt. All you can ask from a rookie who struggled to find his place in the league is to go and improve over the summer and come back a better player, and it appears Fredette has done that.
Clint Peterson - Overall a 2.5, but according to my own expectations a very pedestrian 5, since he’s thus far been just about exactly what I’d expected. Uber-hyped coming into the league, taken in the top ten in the lottery, you don’t expect to get benched in favor of the last pick of the entire draft, who also happens to play your position. Whadya know? A Maloof gamble that actually paid off.
Jacob Frankel - You can’t go over a three here. He has had trouble with the speed of the game and decision making while having to deal with much more athletic players. He has started this year off hot, but that’s not yet enough to merit anything higher.
2) Are the Sacramento Kings the best fit for Jimmer? If not, where does he fit best?
John English - The Kings are a bad fit for most players. Jimmer would thrive on a team where help defense is practiced, and the team’s deep enough where he can take the time he needs to grow. He’d fit on the Thunder or the Spurs, or oddly enough, the New York Knicks.
Daniel Lewis - The Kings are the right fit for Jimmer like Emily Maynard and Jef Holm were right for each other – they never should have gotten together in the first place. Sacramento would have been better off taking Kawhi Leonard or Tobias Harris, but since they have a history of making bad decisions, they traded for the right to have Jimmer. While the added publicity from the Utah market probably didn’t hurt the pocketbook, they will never make the playoffs with Jimmer playing major minutes.
Jay Roberts - As I said in my first answer, I do not believe that this team is the right fit for Jimmer. I think that the Miami Heat would be a really good fit for him. He could back up Mario Chalmers and also play next to him at times. With Lebron and Dwayne Wade controlling most of the play he could hang out at the 3-point line and have lots of open looks: See Shane Battier and now Ray Allen. He could also have lots of freedom to handle plays because teammates would be much better and that would allow him more creativity.
Braeden Jensen - Like the last question, this one is a little tougher this year than last year, because Jimmer has looked better, but I think that you can still safely answer this with a big fat NO! There better fits around the league. Jimmer’s hometown team, the New York Knickerbockers come to mind quickly, as he’d be a good compliment coming off the bench behind Raymond Felton (their backup PG is a 35 year-old Pablo Prigioni, so…). I think he’d actually mesh quite well running around with Jason Kidd as the other guard. The Knicks have had a ridiculously hot start shooting three-pointers this season, and Jimmer could add to the barrage.
Clint Peterson - I can’t be the only one who thinks Jimmer could rock some Maccabi Haifa B.C. am I? Jests aside, the Kings are a great fit for Jimmer in the context of “me first” ball, which was precisely Jimmer’s role for Dave Rose.
Jacob Frankel - Are the Kings a good fit for anybody? They are the most dysfunctional team in the league, mirroring their owners. The Kings are like poison. High character rookie Thomas Robinson has already been suspended for a nasty elbow to Jonas Jerebko. Also, Sacramento’s backcourt is already chalk-full of shoot first guards so the minutes just aren’t there. The Grizzlies could definitely use another shooter coming off the bench.
3) If Jimmer were on the Jazz, what would be his role and how would he fit?
John English - Jimmer would be the combo guard off the bench. Tyrone Corbin might try him at the 1, but he’d likely just be the one to take the ball up the court, pass it out, then fight to get open on the perimeter for when the bigs get double or triple-teamed. He’d go right back to the bench after every turnover and sit between Jeremy Evans and Kevin Murphy for the rest of the game.
Daniel Lewis - If Jimmer were on the Jazz, his role would be similar to what Jamaal Tinsley does now. Neither of them contribute consistent defense, and while one has veteran experience, the other would benefit from the home crowd significantly more than the other. Jimmer could, potentially, grow into a reliable shooter off the bench who doesn’t turn the ball over and can start in a pinch. In a word, he’s Steve Blake without the “I buy all my sandwiches from 7-11″ demeanor.
Jay Roberts - He would be a back up point guard and play a little shooting guard as well. I really don’t think that the Jazz would be a good fit for Jimmer. He needs to play on a team where he is a role player and currently the Jazz consist of a team full of role players. He would get lost in the shuffle of playing time and guys trying to fit there roles into Jazz system. He would be better off on a team with established players where he could find a niche that would help make that team better. Jimmer will never be able to carry a team or be main player.
Braeden Jensen - I’ve spent the early season adamantly objecting any “Jimmer to the Jazz” scenarios. Mostly, I don’t want Coach Corbin to have to put up with the irrational Jimmerites and feel pressure to play him. It’s not fair to him, especially when he’s already under pressure trying to figure out what lineups are working for this team. That being said, with how Jimmer has been playing so far this year, I think he could easily fill the role of Jamaal Tinsley, while actually hitting a three-pointer occasionally. Wouldn’t that be something?
Clint Peterson - On last year’s roster, Jimmer may have actually seen some burn for the utter lack of three-shooting that squad had. But now, with the arc jobs all tied up, his role would be bench warmer, where I envision he’d fit nicely right between Alec Burks and Jeremy Evans.
Jacob Frankel - Fredette would be a great fit with the Jazz. More bench scoring plus a deadeye to give Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors a little room to operate.
4) Which young forward has a more promising future in the league, Derrick Favors or DeMarcus Cousins?
John English - Derrick Favors would have been my easy answer six months ago, but now it’s very close. Cousins is more dominantly offensively, Favors is much better defensively. Cousins is the big fish on a perennial lottery team. Favors is the third big on a team that made the playoffs last year. Cousins has the talent of a Jermaine O’Neal with the temper of Rasheed Wallace, and he may eventually find the right coach on the right team that makes him an All-Star. Favors is still a question mark until either Jefferson or Millsap leaves.
Daniel Lewis - Um, have you watched Cousins take the ball to the rim? No other center can physically do what Boogie does on the court. Now, Favors does not have the same reputation that Boogie does, but if Favors was as good as Cousins, he’d have been starting for quite some time. Some numbers to think about? 132-38. That’s the difference in games started. Even with the increase in ibuprofen for the coaching staff, front office, and public relations staff, I would take Cousins in the draft, now, and for the next seven years. He’s that good. As long as he doesn’t get thrown out of the league, Cousins is going to have Favors number for as long as they are in the same conference.
Jay Roberts - I really like DeMarcus Cousins offensive game, but I think his defense and also mental game are below average. If he had a better attitude he could be an elite player in this league. Derrick Favors plays above average defense, but has long way to go on offense. He has a great attitude and is improving on offensive, but he really needs to find a go to move. Today Cousins is a better player and could be an all star. Favors could be defensive player of the year. I would take Favors’ attitude over Cousins ten times out of ten times so for that reason I choose Favors.
Braeden Jensen - Much to the chagrin of Jazz fans everywhere, right now you have to say that Cousins is safely out in front in this race. The guy is an animal, and he can basically do whatever he wants down low. Sure, it helps that he’s unquestionably the starter and best player on the team, and fans will argue that Favors would be neck and neck with him if he had the same opportunities, but right now, DeMarcus is King (pun intended). Relatedly, this is going to become an interesting battle over the next few years, especially as spots on the U.S. Olympic team open up and as both teams move forward with their futures in the hands of their young big men.
Clint Peterson - This won’t be a popular opinion in Jazzland, but Cousins has a far more complete skill set than Favors and his otherworldly athleticism. However, with how volatile The Real DMC can be, and the work ethic Favors is exposed to in Utah, Derrick may just stick longer than DeMarcus.
Jacob Frankel - I’ve written and talked extensively in the past about the impact of Derrick Favors, but despite that, Boogie Cousins is just a better player. Sure he may not hustle as much as he can and can be a distraction at times, but that doesn’t change the fact that Cousins is a more skilled player. The one thing I’m wary of is whether or not he’ll have the resources to succeed in Sac Town.
5) What are the Jazz going to need to do to beat the Kings?
John English - Run. The Kings jack up a lot of shots, and the Jazz need to be ready to rebound and throw the outlet pass. They also need to avoid their nasty habit of playing down to the competition.
Daniel Lewis - Stop Boogie from being Boogie. Tyreke Evans killed the Jazz last year, and the perimeter defense hasn’t improved enough this year to keep him out of the lane and drawing fouls. But if the “Big Lineup” can keep Cousins from getting his average of 3.5 offensive rebounds, then they’ll have a chance. The two teams are on a home-and-home, so fans will get to see how the Jazz do at home against the Kings and then on the road. Last year, the Jazz were 2-2 against the Kings, and Cousins averaged 22 points and 15 rebounds per game. Those are really good numbers folks.
Jay Roberts - In order for the Jazz to win this game they need to play under control and not get caught up in a street game with the Kings. Getting back to defend the 3 point line and limiting offensive rebounds will be a must. They can run on the Kings but will have stay in control when they do and take advantage of most of there opportunities. Tyreke Evans has killed the Jazz in past because he can get to the rim and either make shots, get fouled or both. We need to limit him from getting inside and to the foul line. Turn him into a jump shooter. Big Al needs to have a big game and Favors will need to play great defense on Cousins so that he will become frustrated and give up.
Braeden Jensen – I know that Cousins is their best player, but I don’t feel like he is the one that hurts the Jazz the most when we play them. It’s going to be a tall order to ask Randy Foye to stop Tyreke Evans, but that’s what it is going to take. In two out of the three games against the Jazz last year, Evans had 25 or more points. Coincidentally, Utah won both of those games, but only by a combined four points. The Kings play tough basketball against the Jazz, and controlling Evans will help the Jazz squeak out a victory (and hopefully two!) this weekend.
Clint Peterson - At home? Just be themselves, defend, and share the rock profusely. On the road is another matter entirely, where the Kings just rocked Pringle Ball’s world, the diminutive-for-his-position Chuck Hayes outscoring and stopping cold both Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol. How humiliating.
Jacob Frankel - Don’t go under any screens. The Kings are a team made of streak shooters and it is critical not to let them get hot. Also, please don’t even try to post up Chuck Hayes.
P.S.S. – If you knew how things were going to go with Jimmer, where would he go in the draft if it was done over today?
Daniel Lewis - Where would Jimmer go? I’d like to think that Oklahoma City would have taken him, and he’d be averaging 7.5 points a game for them this season, just coming off the bench and dropping a couple 3-pointers a game. Being set up for jumpers after dribble-drives by Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant would be a lot nicer than John Salmons and Marcus Thornton.