The Bulls officially signed Jimmer Fredette on Sunday after the third-year guard cleared waivers on Saturday after coming to terms on a buyout with the Sacramento Kings on Thursday.
Fredette signed for the pro-rated veteran's minimum, which keeps the Bulls under the salary cap. He will wear No. 32 and be available when the Bulls take on the New York Knicks.
"We feel like he has a skill that’s as good as anyone and he can shoot the ball; we need shooting," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "He’s coming in late so we’ll see how it unfolds.
"Obviously we’re well into the season, so the challenge is to get him up to speed as quickly as possible. You never know how things unfold because there’s injury, foul trouble and how quickly he can pick things up."
Fredette was the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft but struggled to receive consistent minutes with a number of guards ahead of him in the rotation. He's averaging just 5.9 points on a career-high 47.5 percent shooting and 1.5 assists.
The former player of the year at BYU is a career 40 percent shooter from 3, including shooting 49.3 percent this season. The Bulls rank 27th in the league in three-point shooting at 34.4 percent.
The decision to come to the Bulls was an easy one for Fredette. Him and Kirk Hinrich share an agent in Jeff Austin and he knows Tony Snell from playing against him in college. He also feels the culture surrounding the team is one he can thrive in.
"I just see how this team plays; they play hard every single night and they play for each other and play the right way," Fredette said. "That's something I was looking for, come to a team that I can fit and play the way I wanted to, play hard every single night and be part of a team. I'm excited to be here. I can't wait to start and get out there and play and see how things go."
Despite not being able to find much playing time in Sacramento, Fredette viewed his time there as a learning experience.
"Sometimes things don't go the way that you want them to, but I appreciate everything that happened in Sacramento," he said. "It was character-building for me, continuing to go out and play hard. I feel like I progressed as a player."
It's unclear on where Fredette's minutes will come from with Hinrich and D.J. Augustin ahead of him in the rotation and Tony Snell also getting minutes in the backcourt. Thibodeau didn't have a definitive answer on where his minutes would come from and there's still getting him versed in the team's schemes both offensively and defensively, which will come in practice and studying.
Despite the verdict being out on Fredette's defense, Thibodeau said that he didn't want to judge him without seeing if he could pick up the Bulls team defense. He also think that Fredette's reputation as a shooter also diminishes the other values he brings to the team.
"I think that he’s more than just a shooter," Thibodeau said. "I think what he can do in the pick and roll, he can be very effective. He’s very good with the ball. He’s got to learn defensively what to do, in terms of team defense; that’s usually the biggest adjustment. But the fact that he can shoot the way that he can, I think it complements our primary scorers well."