Can Evans build upon the success he showed as a rookie?
Evans exploded onto the NBA scene like a bomb, as he seemed to destroy anything and everything in his path. He averaged 20.1 points, 5.8 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game.
He also became the fourth player in NBA history to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists as a rookie. The other three: Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
Now that's good company.
However, since that promising rookie season, Evans hasn't done much to improve upon his game. Essentially, he's still the same player he was when the Kings drafted him. Don't get me wrong, that's still a good player to have, but it leaves a lot to be desired considering the promise he showed that first year.
It would seem that Evans has all the physical tools to dominate. He's incredibly quick, he's got excellent ball-handling skills, he's got the strength to finish at the rim, he's a willing passer and he's a solid defender.
The one area of his game that's thoroughly lacking is a consistent jump shot. It's apparent that Evans isn't a great long-range shooter when looking at his career three-point percentage of .255. But it's not just three-point shots, Evans hasn't even been able to knock down mid-range jumpers with any consistency.
Given Evans' ability to penetrate to the basket at will, adding a jump shot is a must if he's to improve upon what he showed as a rookie.
It became apparent when watching him play last season that defenders were daring Evans to shoot jump shots. They would play off him because they knew he couldn't knock down jumpers, and because if they didn't, Evans would blow right by them off the dribble.
He absolutely needs to develop a jump shot to keep defenders honest. Not only will it open up more chances to get the basket, it will also give him another way to score points.
Can Evans build upon the success he showed as a rookie? Yes. All it takes is developing a consistent shot. But since that's something he's been talking about working on since that rookie campaign, it's time to put his money where his mouth is.
Speaking of which, Evans' rookie contract runs out this year. So not only does he have the incentive of improved play by developing a shot, but he's also got the added motivation of playing for his next contract.