The NBA trade deadline took on a new meaning this season in Sacramento. Beginning in November, general manager Pete D’Alessandro has been the most active front-office man in the business. Derrick Williams, Rudy Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray were all added to the roster before Christmas even hit. And D’Alessandro didn’t stop there.
Trade season officially ended at noon on Thursday, but not before the Kings pulled off two final deals. Surprisingly, Jimmer Fredette‘s name was not among the names involved. D’Alessandro chose to keep the former college player of the year, at least until the end of the season when Jimmer will become an unrestricted free agent.
Knowing that a trade was possible, we sat down with Jimmer during pregame before Wednesday’s matchup against the Warriors for a one-on-one chat. The 24-year-old former BYU star is still recovering from a flu bug and looked a bit worn from a week of rumors, but he’s a pro’s pro. Here is Jimmer Fredette with Cowbell Kingdom.
CK: With the trade deadline is tomorrow, how are you holding up and how do you deal with the stress of all this?
JF: You know that the trade deadline is coming up. It’s going to come and it’s going to go, so you just have to not worry about it too much. Obviously, it’s in the back of your mind, because you’re thinking about what’s going to happen, but right now, we have a game tonight. We have to worry about that. We’ve got to get a good warm-up in, get ready to go and just really focus on the game.
CK: You’ve had an up-and-down season and an up-and-down three years here in Sacramento. Sometimes you get playing time, sometimes you don’t. Are you looking for a fresh start, now or at the season’s end?
JF: Yeah, definitely. It’s going to be nice that I’ll be a free agent after the season. So I can go out and see the interest in (me) and sort of choose where I want to go, so to say. And go to a team that definitely wants me and it will be nice to go out there be able to see what’s going on. But obviously, the season’s not over. I need to continue to play well, continue to grow and get better as a basketball player and see what happens after the season is over.
CK: Do you expect to get a call tomorrow that you’ve been traded?
JF: Honestly, I have no idea. I have no idea at this point, it’s just all a waiting game. And like I said, just worry about what’s going on tonight. We’ve got a game, so we have to go out here and play to the best of our ability. Whatever happens later on, you can’t worry about it, but honestly, I’m not sure.
CK: If this is your last game in Sacramento, what has it been like to play here with these fans and the atmosphere here?
JF: Sacramento’s a great place. I’ve loved it here. The people have been great. The fans are always supportive. We haven’t been the best team since I’ve come here to Sacramento and they still have supported us and loved us. They kept the team here and then everything that was going on here this summer. It’s been really really (great) to play for these fans and hopefully, we’ll continue to do that.