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Friday, February 28, 2014
Thibodeau would welcome shooting help

By Nick Friedell

DALLAS -- All signs point toward the Chicago Bulls signing Jimmer Fredette once he clears waivers on Saturday evening.

Jimmer Fredette
Taj Gibson believes Jimmer Fredette could benefit from a fresh start.
ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported Thursday that a deal between the Bulls and Fredette, who was recently bought out by the Sacramento Kings, is "likely." That was echoed by a separate source with knowledge of the situation that said the deal would get done barring any last minute snags.

While Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau wouldn't discuss Fredette specifically, he did acknowledge that the Bulls would welcome any shooting they could get. Fredette is shooting 49.3 percent from beyond the arc this season.

"I don't want to speak specifically about players yet," Thibodeau said before Friday morning's shootaround, when asked specifically about Fredette's reputation. "There are a number of guys that are good and sometimes as we saw with D.J. (Augustin), it's an opportunity to step in and add to what a team may need so whoever we sign -- if we do sign someone -- whatever their strengths are we want them to play to their strengths, to cover up their weaknesses. To understand what our team's strengths are, what are weaknesses are, and fit in."

Thibodeau, whose Bulls play the Mavericks on Friday night, sounded hopeful that the Bulls would bring in another shooter to space out the floor.

"We could always use shooting so we'll see," he said. "I know they're looking at a number of guys right now. But any time we could add shooting we're interested. I think the more shooting you have the more it opens up the floor. It's just to create the space, too. We want to open things up where we could attack off the dribble with our cuts, things of that nature. But it's also how you complement your primary scorers so we feel that's an are of need."

When told of Fredette's buyout, Bulls forward Taj Gibson seemed pleased about the potential move and believes the young shooter would benefit from a change of scenery.

"I've seen that he's got talent," Gibson said. "It's just that the team that he was on he never really got a chance to do much because they've got the characters on that team where they don't seem too serious, you know what I'm saying? Playing on strict, good teams kind of brings the best out of a player.

"You look at the way D.J.'s been playing. You look at the way Tony (Snell), our rookie's been playing. Guys are taking the veteran leadership and guys that work hard -- I think (Fredette) will have fun playing with us. He'll learn a lot."