Tyreke Evans may no longer be considered a franchise player, but he could still salvage his career in a new environment.
According to Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee, Evans could be traded in the offseason.
Kings executives will entertain trade offers for Tyreke Evans this summer, and they should.
Evans remains a major asset. His team remains in a major funk. When a franchise finishes near the conference cellar for six consecutive seasons, the general manager needs to make significant personnel changes, or the franchise needs to change its general manager.
Evans has shown very little improvement since his brilliant rookie season when he averaged 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. He was only the fourth NBA player in history to average 20/5/5 in his rookie campaign.
Combinations of injuries, off-court issues and a weak franchise infrastructure have bogged down Evans' development. The confidence has also left Evan's game. As the Sac Bee also said:
Excluding the fact that Evans was miscast as the Kings' primary ballhandler during his first two seasons – and that's on former coach Paul Westphal – almost everything about him has yet to be determined. His confidence wavers worse than his jumper. He is uncomfortable in the halfcourt offense and confused about when to cut and when to move. Too often, he admits, he just stands around.
He's a great basketball talent, but at this moment he's not a great basketball player.
Evans is not a lost cause. He just finished his third NBA season and could easily turn around his career if he takes a leap next year.
The question is, will he attempt to turn his career around on the Kings or a new team? Here is a list of four teams that must try to steal Evans out of Sacramento in the off-season:
If the Charlotte Bobcats fail to get one of the top three picks in the upcoming 2012 NBA Draft, shouldn't they consider making a move for Evans?
We've seen this a million times before. Just because a team finishes the season with the worst record in the NBA, does not mean that they are guaranteed one of the top two draft picks. The Bobcats need someone they can build their team around. They have a 25 percent chance of getting No. 1 pick and a 64 percent chance at the top three.
Let's say the Bobcats are unlucky in the lottery and get the No. 4 pick in the draft. Do they draft someone like Andre Drummond from UConn or Harrison Barnes from North Carolina? There's a shot both of them could be flops. The Bobcats do not need another "project" player. They need guys who can play now. What if they traded their pick to the Kings in exchange for Evans?
The Bobcats may not believe that Evans is worth a top pick in a trade. But if your Michael Jordan, would you rather have a player like Barnes who might work out or Evans, who has shown that he can play at a high-level in the NBA?
The Kings would get back another valuable draft pick to help build their team while the Bobcats would receive a young talent who has shown flashes of NBA brilliance.
Since Nash likely won't return, the Suns should try everything they can to pry Evans away from Sacramento. Based on their roster alone, the Suns have very little that they could offer the Kings for Evans. The Suns will be in the back end of the lottery because they barely missed the playoffs. If they luck out and get the No. 11 or No. 12 pick in the NBA Draft, then the Suns might be able to create a package for Evans.
Evans would not replace Nash, but Phoenix would be a great city for him to turn around his career. Phoenix also has an elite training staff. Evans has a history with injuries and the Suns training staff could prevent him from suffering the same fate he did his second year in the NBA.
After finishing the season 21-45, New Orleans Hornets' General Manager Dell Demps said:
“You look at our roster. We have a lot of young guys. We have draft picks. We have cap room. We have a lot of things we can do. We’re not stuck. We have ways to improve our roster, and I think we’re going to look at every one of those opportunities moving forward.”
The Hornets have their own first-round draft pick and the Minnesota Timberwolves' first-round pick that they received in last December’s trade that involved Chris Paul going to the Los Angeles Clippers.
If the Hornets are smart here, they can complete their rebuilding process in a very short time. They have a 13.8-percent chance at receiving the No. 1 pick. If Eric Gordon, who is a restricted free agent this summer, does not return to the team next year, why not explore trade options with Sacramento? Depending on where the pick is, the Hornets could offer Sacramento their Minnesota pick for Evans and draft a player high with their own pick.
If anyone can get the maximum out of Evans, it's the NBA Coach of the Year Gregg Popovich.
Every year he finds no name guys and turns them into productive NBA players. Would Daniel Green and Gary Neal be as good if they weren't playing for Coach Popovich? Now imagine if Popovich could get his hands on a raw talent like Evans. The reason Popovich produces new NBA talent every year is because he knows how to use his players the right way. He never asks too much from them or puts them in uncomfortable situations. Part of the reason Evans' development in Sacramento has faltered is because he was asked to play point guard his rookie season— a position he's clearly not suited to play.
The Spurs may lack the pieces to snag Evans away from Sacramento, but they should at least look into it. The Big Three is getting old. Tony Parker is still playing at a MVP-level but how much longer can the Spurs count on Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili? If the Spurs got Evans, they could play him at shooting guard. Evans and Kawhi Leonard would cause serious mismatch problems and would be a nice, young core heading into the post-Tim Duncan era.