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Sacramento, Calif. — Excerpts from an interview Tuesday with Kings coach Keith Smart about rookie guard Jimmer Fredette.Smart on Fredette's ongoing evolution: It's not just struggling — it's an adjustment. I look at the historical of a lot of rookies that come through when they're making a transition shift. I look at clips of him coming out of college, in college, what he was doing with the basketball. He's primarily making plays for himself, scoring, what have you. Now you're asking a man to step back from shooting 30 times to get other people involved. And that's hard when you've done that for a long period of time. Now you have to wait until the right spots, because you're going to have to put it into the post-up. I don't think he ever put it into the post-up guy in college. So you're going to have to put it into the post. You're going to have to try and get another shooter the ball. You didn't have to try and go to an isolation matchup for that particular night. You were the guy that started the offense and it ended with you. Now, the adjustment period that you have to go through is, how do I still find my role in here? He's a willing passer — almost saying you have to be selfish when you come off of the pick-and-roll or come off on the screen. You've got to be shooting the basketball — if you're open, you shoot the ball. So all of those things are brand new to him. The speed of the players that he's playing against. Well, he's on the board as a red guy — red guys mean guys who can shoot. So everyone knows he can shoot; you won't have that much space available, guys are going to get to you quick. Bad teams, you may have those open shots. Good teams, they're going to get to you fast. Pick-and-rolls, they're going to trap you. So all of those little things: How to come off of pick-and-rolls fast? Mark Price and I were talking about Jimmer last year when we were together in Golden State. And we both were asking the question, What do you think, man? Neither one [of us] knew what was going to happen or where he was going to go in the draft, but we were just asking about different players. And [Price said], he just has to get to a point where he's faster in all of his actions. He said that's the one thing I had to do is understand I had to be faster in my shots, I had to be faster off screens, and that opened things up. There's no thinking: you're coming off and you're right into your shot. So the transition where he would get by people in college and he had a little time to rock and pump-fake a guy, that's not the case here. When you're open in the NBA, you're open for that reason — you've got to take the shot. So little things like that, of being able to move around the floor. One thing that we both saw and Mark said was, he knew how to play without having the ball in his hands on the dribble. So he can put it to a spot and go chase it. And that's what Mark Price was really good at — put it to a spot and go chase it. And then, now, what do you do next? Do you get into your shot or you make your pass? And so the decision-making right away from that. And then as the team gets better, more players around him are better — so that when he gets to where he needs to go and he makes a pass to a wide-open guy at the 3-point line, that's a 3, that's a bucket, you see. And then the other part is defending — and he's a better defensive [player] than what people give him credit for; by no means am I saying that he can't play it. But every game, someone's going to try to attack you. It's just natural. Teams are going to do that. And so every night you have to go and say you're going to fight on the post-up.He has to really develop that part of really being Matt Harpring-type. Feisty — I coached Matt in Cleveland — the feisty-type. All of a sudden, the reputation was built and now he doesn't get ticky-tack fouls anymore. So those two parts he has to develop, from a defensive standpoint and get away from where we don't want you in foul trouble. Don't worry about foul trouble. If you start showing yourself that you are the aggressor defensively, you're going to get a reputation in this league and it's going to be smooth the rest of your career. And I hate comparing people to guys, but you look at a J.J. Reddick. And J.J. came in a big-time scorer out of college. And that first year, [he]couldn't do anything. But then look at J.J. His shot became quicker. The way he comes off screens became quicker — all those things. And then that opened up the game for him now. So those are the things, that summer work, speed training, to where he can eventually get himself on the floor and playing consistent minutes. Because it's an adjustment period that he has to go through, and it's unfortunate when you come in with a lot of hype. Steph Curry, who I coached last year, came in out of Davidson and struggled early on. But he kept getting better and better and better. And he had players that could take a lot of — he had a Monta Ellis — that could take a lot of slack. Monta could get into the paint and make passes and he could just knock down open shots. And then Steph, people said of him, he's not a good defender. And he became a better defender. Because they wanted to post him up. So as he got into a certain matchup, [they] would try to post him. Well, Steph ended up rated by Synergy as a very good defensive player in the low box, so the post-up wasn't the issue anymore. So that's the things that Jimmer is going to develop over time. The unfortunate part is that everybody want[s] that time to be now. They want it now. But it's a process, man. It's a process. And then you're looking at, we're in games closely and … is he going to help us win games? But from being around the league and understanding the league right now, it's going to be that little situation that he has to grow into. And once it happens, once he figures all that out, now here comes the player that we all knew, all know about, and then we'll look back on this year and go, 'My rookie year. I understand. It was a challenge. But you know what? It really helped me because I figured it out. I knew exactly what I had to work on, I knew exactly what I had to do, and that first year really helped me because it really positioned me.' Now, will he think that way, will everyone else think that way? Probably not. Because you want to play and you want to be on the floor. I understand that. But we're talking about him having sustained success long term.

Fredette learning how to play to his strengths: … You see Jimmer [learning] where go to certain areas of the floor. Those are red zones, those are trap areas — you can't go there. You've got to see the play before you can get to those spots and take your shots. But now, they know you can shoot, so you're not going to get that. We run a pick-and-roll with Tyreke Evans. It'll open up and he can get to his spot and he can get his shot off. Well, Jimmer, they know, let's trap this guy. And now he gets into an area where he gets trapped, and he jumps up in the air, he tries to throw a pass. … One thing, his confidence is strong. He's got a lot of confidence. With every rookie, the best thing for them is time and playing. If they can figure out how to manage what's happening in their lives right now, as they come back around the second time around, they get their confidence back.Isaiah Thomas acting and not overthinking when he's on the court: Well you've got to understand, Isaiah has been in that role his whole life. So here's a guy who's already been in that role, so the only thing that he needs to learn was, how far can I go as a 5-9 person? And then the nuances of how to play real pick-and-rolls. Because you look at the nuances of [Washington's] system, a lot of the stuff they run was pro sets. So he's been in that role for four years. … Jimmer never had to yell at his teammates or pick them [up] in spots. He never had to do that, because everything evolved and started with him. Whereas, Isaiah has the natural [demeanor] that he can say [something] to a guy. Because that position has got to be the coaching position. And he has to be of the manner, if [DeMarcus] Cousins is dribbling the ball up the floor, who's going to say, 'Give me the ball.' And that's how a young point guard [develops]. I went through the process. I was a quiet guy, but I had to become more vocal as well. And once you became more vocal, the team started to respond to you a certain way. Of course, Isaiah is playing well and he's moved other guys to other positions and they're playing well. … I have no doubt that Jimmer's going to figure this all out and it's going to all work out the way everyone thought it would work out. But the tough part is going through the teething with him and all of his followers, and everyone hoping and wanting something for him that it just doesn't come that easy when you're making a transition. Now, if he had been a point guard. … The point guard is, people think that you have the ball and you come up the floor and you start the play. [Laughs] That's not the point guard. Everyone [says], 'Hey, I've been a point guard and I've had the ball.' No, that's not it. There's more that goes to the point guard. There's directing and almost being a coach on the floor. You are a traffic cop. You've got to know when to take your shots, when to back off your shots, when to shoot. Coming down the floor and looking at the expressions of — when you're playing with big guys, you can't keep going to them now. You've got to look at different facial expressions. OK, I've got to get the ball to Cuz. He's running and he's running and he hasn't gotten the ball. What play can I go to to get him the basketball? Hey, you can break the play and just go a two-man game. Those are the little things that guys will learn. But the first thing that he has to focus on is getting into everything that he does at a faster pace and not worrying about the fact that — for me, I'm like, you can shoot, man. You know? Don't worry about these other guys. You know you've got a greenlight, now just shoot the ball. So when you're open, take the shot. If you miss it, you miss it.Point guard will be Fredette's primary position in NBA: Well, not necessarily. One luxury that we have is, we have some big wing players that can handle the ball. So the vision of thinking with he and Isaiah, Marcus Thornton — these guys can play off the ball and work off of screens, you see? So we have a luxury that you don't have to typecast this guy into, pigeonhole him into a position, because he can do other things. He can be a ballhandler, he can also work off screens — all of our small guards can work off screens. All of our bigger guards — the Tyreke Evans, the John Salmons — these guys can make passes to players coming off screens. … I had the luxury of working for a master offensive-mind coach in [Don] Nelson. And you've got to free your mind when you have a roster, and you can't say, 'He's a point, he's a 3' — what skill level does he have? Are you losing more with him trying to be a point guard and not looking at the possibility of what you can gain with him working off the ball? Now, that's my vision. The player has to have the vision of saying, 'I can work off the ball,' as opposed to saying, 'I've always had the ball in my hands.' … So now you've got to say, 'Give me that bottle, baby. And I want you now to eat solid food.' And so, how quickly can he say, 'OK. I've got to play off the ball.' And that's a tough transition, that's a hard transition to get. Because I played a little bit off the ball and then with the ball. And I know what you have to be able to do in both areas, by trying to initiate plays, understanding facial [expressions] — it took me five years to understand the point-guard position and I went over to Europe to play. … With him, that's the things he's got to learn, and we're trying to speed this up. If we had had Summer League, if we would've had eight preseason games — the last four, maybe he starts the whole last four preseason games. Brian T. SmithTwitter: @tribjazz