Most people figured that the team that drafted Jimmer Fredette was doing so for marketing purposes more than anything else. Alex Kennedy at HoopsWorld put it perfectly on twitter saying “When owners see Jimmer, they see a big-name player who generates interest and money. When management sees him, they see a tough transition.” Keeping that in mind, and recognizing that Jimmer is the biggest name in the draft, the team in arguably the worst financial situation in the NBA decided to select him. And like Patrick Crawley pointed out in his draft recap (which you should definitely check out), the Kings are already playing up the Jimmer angle as much as you could expect. Check out the splash page they created specifically to promote him:
This really shouldn’t surprise us when you look at Sacramento’s financial situation. They need to sell tickets to raise money so they can keep the franchise in Sacramento. The question is if drafting Jimmer will help them do that. Sure he’s a recognizable name who fans may want to see, but if he’s not that good, how long will that last? Generally fans want to see a winner rather than an exciting player on a bad team (unless it’s Blake Griffin). If Jimmer proves to be a bust, then this will be viewed as a quick fix that didn’t work out.
By comparison, other teams marketed their newcomers fairly equally. The Utah Jazz featured both their top two picks on their website. The same is true of the Bobcats. Even the Cavaliers featured both of their top two guys on their website. Here are all the other splash pages for comparison:
Tristan Thompson and Bismack Biyombo hardly have the same name recognition as their counterparts, yet their teams decided to feature them. It’s understandable why Sacramento is pushing The Jimmer, just keep in mind they drafted him for business purposes every bit as much as they did in hopes of him turning out to be a star on the court.