Will Jimmer Fredette see reduced minutes for the Sacramento Kings?
With the departure of Marcus Thornton, Ben McLemore has regained his spot in the Kings’ starting lineup. However, who gets the bulk of the minutes he played off the bench?
“I just want to make sure myself and Pete D’Alessandro and our front-office group have 28 games to analyze and really study who we have, what we like and what we really need to work on this offseason,” Kings head coach Michael Malone said after practice Thursday when asked about the possibility of adjusting his lineup and rotation. “So if I have to change up the lineups or change up the rotations, I’ll definitely do that.”
Against the Warriors, Malone turned to Travis Outlaw, who’s played sparingly for the Kings since the acquisition of Rudy Gay. Outlaw responded by putting together one of his best games of the season, scoring 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting in 33 minutes off the Kings’ bench.
Malone, however, is not ruling out the possibility of playing Jimmer Fredette at shooting guard following the Thornton trade. Fredette did score a career-high 24 points last week against the New York Knicks, but played just four minutes in Wednesday’s loss to the Warriors.
“Right now, I think Travis did a good job off the bench behind Ben at the two-guard spot, so (there’s) an opportunity for him to play as well,” Malone said Thursday when asked about giving Fredette some minutes at shooting guard. “But we’ll see every game that we go into and what’s going to give us the best chance to win and let those young guys play and have a chance to grow up for us.”
It seems as though it’s a toss-up between Fredette and rookie Ray McCallum with regard to who may have the edge in the final 28 games of season. In an effort to evaluate what they have, Malone and Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro have expressed a desire to see McCallum get more playing time as the season comes to a close.