Tyreke Evans: 4 Franchises That Desperately Need the Kings' Playmaker
NBA.com's David Aldridge has reported that the Kings will "probably not" be keeping Evans around after this season. "Evans has shown flashes in his first three seasons, but not enough to pique Sacramento's interest to give him a deal. The Kings will 'probably not' be offering an extension, a source says."
Drawing Magic Johnson-like comparisons since the day he was drafted, Evans came into the league as one of the most exciting PG prospects in a long time. With a 6'6", 220-pound frame, the Kings' guard towers over smaller defenders and bullies his way into the paint for easy buckets.
Evans torched the NBA his rookie year, blowing out the competition for the 2009-2010 Rookie of the Year Award. Even more importantly, he joined LeBron James, Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan as the only players in NBA history to average at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in their first season.
However, it's been a steady decline ever since.
Evans found himself with fluctuating minutes and roles, and has been moving between the shooting guard and small forward positions—neither of which he has been comfortable playing.
It's time for one of the league's most underrated point guards to finally find a place to call home.
Here are five teams where Tyreke Evans could find a mutually beneficial situation.
This does not include teams with:
-A star PG with a long-term contract (Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker)
-A recently drafted lottery pick of a top-five PG (Kemba Walker, Brandon Knight)
-Teams clearly lacking cap space to make an offer (New York Knicks, Miami Heat)
And without further adieu, let's continue.
Key Players: PG Brandon Jennings, G Monta Ellis, F Ersan Ilyasova, PF John Henson, G Doron Lamb
There's not much going on in Milwaukee aside from Monta Ellis tearing the court up. With Brandon Jennings doing his research on bigger-market teams, the Bucks are a prime destination for Tyreke Evans to make a new nest.
Evans complements Ellis perfectly. Ellis is a slasher that can score from the perimeter as well, while Evans gets satisfaction from setting up his teammates for easy buckets.
An Evans-Ellis tandem in Milwaukee is exactly what the doctor ordered to (possibly) get the Bucks back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
All they would need next is a go-to post presence.
Los Angeles Clippers
Key Players: PF Blake Griffin, C DeAndre Jordan, PG Chris Paul*, PG Chauncey Billups, G Jamal Crawford, F Caron Butler
There's more and more speculation around town as to whether Chris Paul will pack up and leave after his contract expires this season, or if he'll stay put and ride it out with the Clippers. And if the Clippers end up losing their star-studded point guard, there's no better option on the market to replace him than Tyreke Evans.
Evans is clearly no CP3, but at only 23 years old, the ceiling is way too high for L.A. to pass on him. The Clippers would be getting an incredibly gifted passer whose size alone creates mismatches with shorter, scrawnier guards.
Can't you see an Evans-to-Griffin headline forming already?
Well, clearly this is the worst-case scenario for Clippers fans, but getting a budding, young guard who has yet to reach his prime is far from a losing situation.
Key Players: C Al Jefferson, PF Paul Millsap, PF/C Enes Kanter, PG Mo Williams, PF Derrick Favors, G Randy Foye, SG Raja Bell, SG Alec Burks
Especially after trading Devin Harris to the Atlanta Hawks for Marvin Williams, the Utah Jazz are a young team that is absolutely begging for a talented young point guard to lead them back to the playoffs.
They've already got a solid interior with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap (already better than the supporting cast he had in Sacramento), along with one of the NBA's best on-the-rise coaches in Ty Corbin.
Mixing Tyreke Evans up in the rotation with Mo Williams (and even playing them together) would be a perfect way for the Jazz to give defenses different looks.
Williams has always been one of the better shooters in the NBA, but has always lacked the playmaking ability that true PGs all possess. Evans, on the other hand, is a bona fide playmaker, but is limited in his perimeter scoring.
Key Players: G George Hill, PG D.J. Augustin, G Paul George, F Danny Granger, PF David West, C Roy Hibbert, PF Tyler Hansbrough, G Gerald Green
This is a squad that Tyreke Evans would fit in beautifully with.
On a team full of blue-collar, smashmouth players, Evans would be the missing link as an elite playmaker that the Indiana Pacers would need to take that next step toward making it out of the Eastern Conference.
George Hill is a combo guard, and though he's played some point in San Antonio, he's best served as a spark plug off the bench at the 2.
D.J. Augustin's best days were with the Charlotte Bobcats, which doesn't say much for the Bobcats' newest addition. He's proved to be a deadly shooter from long range, but his mid-range game is shaky and he's got a long way to go in the passing department as well.
Evans brings everything the Pacers need in a point guard: toughness, versatility and pin-point passing.
They just gave Roy Hibbert an insane contract, so finding a way to pick Evans up might involve moving a few pieces, but finding a way to snag the Kings' PG—preferably before he hits the market next offseason—would make the Pacers a top-four team in the East.