- Nick Friedell, Chicago Bulls beat reporter
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CHICAGO -- Jimmer Fredette is happy to be a Bull.
The newly signed member of coach Tom Thibodeau's team made that clear before Sunday's game against the New York Knicks, just hours after his deal with the Chicago Bulls became official. After reaching a buyout agreement with the Sacramento Kings earlier in the week, Fredette is excited about the chance to finally play for a winning team.
"I see how this team plays and they play hard every single night," Fredette said. "And they play for each other and they play the right way and that's kind of something that I was looking for, to come into a team that I could fit in and play the way that I wanted to and play hard every single night and be a part of a team. So I'm excited to be here and I can't wait to start and get out there and play and see how things go. But I'm really excited to be here."
Fredette played 3 minutes in the Bulls' 109-90 victory over the Knicks, making 1 of 2 shots to finish with 2 points in his Chicago debut.
Thibodeau believes that Fredette will be able to space the floor for a team that is in need of both offense and consistent outside shooting.
"He's got a skill that's as good as anyone," Thibodeau said. "He can shoot the ball. We need shooting. He's coming in late so we'll see how it unfolds."
Both Thibodeau and Fredette are hopeful that the BYU alum will be able to fit into the defensive schemes quickly.
"I think that he's more than just a shooter," Thibodeau said. "I think what he can do in the pick and roll 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 and 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 as well."
For Fredette, the deal with the Bulls for the rest of the season represents a fresh start. He never found a niche in Sacramento but he believes he learned a lot during his time with the Kings.
"Sometimes things don't go the way that you want it to all the time," he said. "But I appreciate everything that happened in Sacramento. It was character building for me, continuing to go out and play hard. And I feel like I progressed as a player even though sometimes you didn't get the minutes you wanted to, you just got to continue to work hard and know that if you keep playing hard and doing the right things that eventually things will turn your way so I'm hoping that will happen here."
Fredette admitted one of the main reasons he signed in Chicago was because of Thibodeau and his ability to get the most of guards that have been overlooked in the league. Last season, Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli played well under the demanding coach and earned new deals last summer in the league. D.J. Augustin has thrived in Thibodeau's system since being waived by the Toronto Raptors in December.
"He's done a great job with that and I'm excited about that," Fredette said of Thibodeau. "Hopefully [I'll] come in and he plays to your strengths. That's what he told me when I talked to him, that he's going to find out what my strengths are and play to them. Hopefully we'll be able to do that and further my career."
Jimmer Fredette is happy to be a Bull.