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SALT LAKE CITY — Jimmermania is coming back to the United States.
Jimmer Fredette, the former BYU sharpshooter that took the nation by storm nearly a decade ago, has signed a two-year contract with the Phoenix Suns Thursday, according to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Fredette must receive clearance from his Shanghai Sharks team in China before the deal is made official, according to Charania. The second year of Fredette’s deal is a team option.
Fredette met with the Suns on a potential deal Wednesday, according to Arizona talk radio show host John Gambadoro. He told KSL Newsradio the Suns were expected to give Fredette a look because they had an open spot.
“It’s just a free look,” he said. “You see if he fits along with Devin Booker as a shooter. The Suns want to get guys who can knock down shots … and for them, it makes sense.”
Following a brief stint in the NBA, Fredette signed a two-year deal with the Sharks in 2016 worth more than $1 million. In China, Fredette put on a show with his scoring and averaged 36.0 points per game during the 2018-19 season, including a 75-point performance in a game in Shanghai.
He was also the China Basketball Association Most Valuable Player at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season.
The former BYU guard was drafted by the Sacramento Kings as the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, where he was for three seasons before moving on to Chicago, New Orleans and New York. In his five seasons in the NBA, Fredette averaged 6.0 points on a 41.2 percent shooting, and 1.4 assists per game.
“Jimmer may have improved his game in China, and maybe he’s a better basketball player now at 30 years old than he was at 25 years old,” Gambadoro said. “Here he’ll get a chance to be a role player, come down and known down shots. Obviously, defense will be a question, but how many NBA players honestly play defense? Not very many.”
Phoenix hosts the Detroit Pistons on Friday night at 8 p.m. MDT. The Suns will then travel to Sacramento on Saturday before the Suns come to Salt Lake City to take on the Utah Jazz Monday at 8 p.m. MDT. It’s uncertain when Fredette will officially join the team.