Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Jimmer Fredette grew up in Glens Falls, N.Y., rooting for the Knicks of Patrick Ewing, Allan Houston and Larry Johnson in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Now the star point guard from BYU has a chance to play for the Knicks, who own the No. 17 pick in the June 23 NBA Draft.
“I liked the Knicks growing up, I really did,” Fredette said Thursday. “They were my favorite team.”
Fredette said he excelled during shooting drills, which were closed to the media.
“I shot the ball really well,” he said. “I think I made 20 out of 25 college 3’s and then 19 or so NBA 3-pointers out of 25.”
The National Player of the Year, Fredette averaged 28.9 points as a senior and says he thinks he would fit in well with head coach Mike D’Antoni’s speedball offense.
“I think what I bring to the table is that I can stretch the floor for them, but I can also create off the dribble and I think I can make really good decisions and get the ball where it needs to be gone,” Fredette said. “I think my basketball IQ will help me be able to fit into that system with those two guys [Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony], who are both obviously superstars.”
Anthony attended the workout, as did Knicks President Donnie Walsh, who has not spoken to the media since the team was swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.
The big question surrounding Fredette centers around his defense and whether he can compete on that side of the ball at the NBA level. Fredette defended Michigan guard Darius Morris and thought he did well.
“I think I’ve shown that I compete on that end of the floor and I can play into their system and do a great job doing whatever they need me to do on that end of the floor,” he said.
Fredette worked out for the Knicks last season but suffered a quad strain that cut it short.
The Knicks wanted Fredette to remain in the draft last season, but couldn’t guarantee that they could trade up to pick him.
“They said they really liked me,” he said. “They said there was a good chance but they couldn’t guarantee me anything.”
Fredette has also worked out for the Indiana Pacers and said he has upcoming workouts with the Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns.
The Jazz pick 12th and Fredette said he wouldn’t mind staying in Utah for his pro career.
“Yeah, definitely I would love to play for the Jazz as well,” he said. “They’re a very good team. I fit in the system well and also I’ve lived there so I feel comfortable.
“It would be a really good Cinderella story I guess you could say where you played college ball there and then just went to the Jazz. You obviously have a great fan base out there. It would be fun and I definitely would enjoy it. But we’ll see it happens.”
Also working out Thursday were Morris, Providence star Marshon Brooks, Pitt center Gary McGhee, Klay Thompson of Washington State and Denzel Bowles of James Madison. Josh Selby of Kansas, Tobias Harris of Tennessee, Matthew Bryan-Amaning of Washington, Tyler Honeycutt of UCLA and JaJuan Johnson of Purdue will work out Friday.
**Knicks work out wings Brooks, Thompson
(Photo courtesy NY Knicks)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.