It isn't often that a player two seasons removed from being named NBA Rookie of the Year finds himself on the trading block, but it looks like that's exactly where Sacramento's Tyreke Evans is headed.
That's partly because Evans hasn't been able to replicate his rookie season numbers, as his points per game has fallen from 20.1 in 2009-10 all the way to just 16.5 last year.
Evans has been on the cliff for months, and with the deadline just a little over two weeks away, it makes sense they're backing off. It doesn't mean that Evans won't remain a King, but it will enable him to test the market, or fail to successfully do so. That's the gamble the Kings are making.
Meanwhile, depending on how the Kings season goes, you should consider Evans officially on the trade market, despite whatever the team will say. Former Rookies of the Year with expiring rookie deals don't come along often and if a team needs a spark, Evans is just the type of player you aim for.
Simply put, if the Kings felt strongly about keeping Evans in the fold, they wouldn't be playing with fire by opting to let him go to restricted free agency next summer.
At this point, it seems inevitable that Sacramento will deal Evans before the season's over, because the sooner they do so, the better the return will be.
Evans still has the potential and talent to be a top-flight offensive player, but Sacramento doesn't appear keen on keeping him around for the long haul.
It's incredible how much things have changed in two years, as Evans posted a sparkling 20-5-5 line as a rookie, but for whatever reason, the Kings have turned their attention elsewhere.
Once Evans is made available, if he isn't already, there will be multiple suitors for the 23-year-old former Memphis Tiger, because it isn't often that young players of his caliber are on the trade market.