Jimmer Fredette is grateful for his opportunity with the Westchester Knicks, but the former lottery pick has his eyes on a roster spot with Knicks' NBA club.
In a conference call with reporters on Monday, Fredette said he and his agent hoped to be selected by the Westchester Knicks in the D-League draft, in part because the organization has an open spot on the 15-man roster.
“We talked to them beforehand and we hoped to make it work so I’d be drafted by the Knicks,” Fredette said. “We had phone calls from other organizations. We’re very excited the Knicks were interested.
“I’m from upstate. It’s kind of coming back home. It’s not exactly where I’m from, but it’s definitely exciting to be back in New York. I loved watching the Knicks growing up. To be part of the organization in Westchester is a great opportunity for me to go out and play and hopefully be able to do good things and help the organization.’’
Fredette, the 2011 national Player of the Year out of Brigham Young, was drafted by the Westchester Knicks with the No. 2 pick in the D-League draft on Saturday. He is on the Westchester Knicks’ roster but is an unrestricted free agent -- free to sign with an NBA team at any time.
The Knicks have the flexibility to add one more player to their current roster and Fredette hopes to get a shot.
“With them having 14 guys on the roster, you never know what’s going to happen. But everything comes into play when you’re trying to figure out the best situation to go to. I’m excited to be here,” he said. “I’m not too far from where I grew up so that’s a big part of it and I think that’s sort of a cool thing. You never know what’s going to happen, but I hope to impress and play well and then go from there.”
Fredette hasn't found a steady role in the NBA. He's been with three NBA teams since being selected by the Sacramento Kings with the 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft. He was most recently with the San Antonio Spurs.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich praised Fredette's work ethic but said his release was a numbers issue.
"No room at the inn really, but he did a good job," Popovich said. "Everybody knows he's such great kid, good competitor. Just hope he finds a place."
Fredette’s played in 229 games over the past four seasons, averaging 6.1 points in 13 minutes per game. He said he had offers from overseas teams but decided that his best opportunity at the moment was in Westchester.
“We looked at what would be the best option,’’ Fredette said. “.... We’ll see how things play out.’’
In addition to Fredette, the Westchester Knicks also will have five players from Knicks training camp on their roster: Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Darion Atkins, Travis Trice, Wesley Saunders and DaJuan Summers.