DALLAS — The legend of Jimmer Fredette was hatched in Glens Falls, N.Y., where family members predicted NBA greatness not long after he sank his first 3-pointer — at 5.
He developed into the national player of the year at BYU and was taken 10th overall in the 2011 draft. But the Kings bought out his contract less than three years later, and Fredette is poised to join the Bulls as their 13th player once he clears waivers at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Barring a late surprise, a source told the Chicago Tribune that Fredette will sign with the Bulls and provide them with what they desperately need: scoring.
“The more shooting you have, the more it opens up the floor,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We want to open things up to attack off the dribble, with our cuts, things of that nature. We feel that is an area of need.”
Fredette, seeking to revive his career heading into free agency, can point to how the Bulls helped resurrect D.J. Augustin, whom the Raptors dumped. Since joining the Bulls, Augustin is averaging 13.4 points and 5.5 rebounds in 30.6 minutes.
“There are a number of guys who are good, and sometimes, as you see with D.J., it’s an opportunity to step in and add to what a team may need,” Thibodeau said. “Whoever we sign, if we do sign someone, we want to play to their strengths and cover up their weaknesses.”
The 6-foot-2 Fredette is not a strong defender, but the last time he got extensive minutes, Feb. 12 at Madison Square Garden, he torched the Knicks for 24 points on 6-for-8 shooting from 3-point range.
Guard Kirk Hinrich said adding a top-flight shooter such as Fredette would make defenses “play honest.”
The Bulls entered Friday night 27th in 3-point shooting (34.1 percent), 28th in field-goal shooting (42.7 percent) and last in scoring (92.7 ppg).
No worries: Thibodeau had an amusing give-and-take with a reporter who asked whether he felt good about executive vice president John Paxson’s proclamation to WGWG-FM 87.7 that Thibodeau “is not going anywhere. … I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that our team is the best-prepared in the NBA with Tom as our head coach.”
“Nothing needs to be said,” Thibodeau said. “No matter how you answer it, it keeps coming up. I don’t waste any time with that.”
Reporter: “Is the perception that there’s an issue between you and management bothersome to you?”
Thibodeau: “Well, obviously, it’s bothersome to you. I’m just worried about Dallas.”