Trade rumors are part of the NBA life. It’s not fun for anyone knowing that you might have to pick up and leave on a moments notice and live out of a hotel room for the few months. For players with families, it’s even more difficult. You make friends. You might have kids in school or even bought a home and then it’s on to your next location.
For players on a losing team, you have to be on high alert. Trades can come at anytime, be it to shake things up or the right deal comes along. Third-year guard Jimmer Fredette knows all of this, but waking up on Friday morning and seeing his name mentioned in a rumored deal to the Toronto Raptors for center Aaron Gray has to be unnerving.
It was just a rumor of course. Jimmer is still wearing Kings’ purple and black. But without a guaranteed deal for next season, the former BYU star knows that his tenure in Sacramento could come to an end at anytime.
“In the NBA, there’s going to be rumors all the time,” head coach Michael Malone said before the Kings took on the Lakers on Friday night. “This guy’s going here and (Friday), there’s a report that Jimmer’s getting traded to Toronto. But all that is talk. It’s a distraction and it cannot take you away from keeping your eyes on the prize.”
A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to Cowbell Kingdom Friday morning that there was no truth to the rumored deal with Toronto, but in many instances, the damage is already done. Players are people and hearing your name pop up in trade rumors is uncomfortable at best.
“I think Pete D’Alessandro does a great job,” Malone added. “If something is going on, Pete is a great communicator and he’ll make sure that he’s talking to the parties that may need talking to.”
Before the Kings took on the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday evening, we caught up with Jimmer, just to see where his head is at. Always the consummate professional, Jimmer gave us a few minutes of his time.
CK: How are you holding up on a day like today when there are rumors and there are all of these other things going on?
Jimmer: I’m doing fine, you know. I continue to work. You can’t really worry about things you can’t control. So you just continue to fight, work hard, knowing at some point, you’re going to get an opportunity. So you have to stay ready for it, stay focused on it and so you just can’t really worry about it as much as people think.
CK: Is coach Malone having conversations with you and keeping you apprised of what’s coming or when you might get opportunities?
Jimmer: He does. He’s told me the last couple of times that I was going to get into the game and then he told me that he was going to put MT (Marcus Thornton) in the game instead and give him a try. He’s kept me in the loop, which I’ve really appreciated and it gets your mindset ready for the night and you know what you have to go out there and do. But you always have to stay prepared, no matter what he says.
CK: You watch Isaiah Thomas blow up in the fourth quarter of the game against Oklahoma City and that’s something that you did in college all of the time. Have you thought about coming into a game and saying ‘I’m going to do what Isaiah does. I’m going to throw all caution to the wind and I’m going to score like I’ve scored my entire life’?
Jimmer: I’ve done it a couple of times. I haven’t really done it much this year, except for the one preseason game. But last year I was able to get some good games where I’d have really big quarters and play really well. But you just have to sometimes deal with those inconsistent minutes and just work as hard as you can to stay prepared and stay ready, knowing that it’s not going to happen every single night. Sometimes, it’s not your night and other guys are open and opportunities arise for them, but hopefully one of these times I will and it will spark us.