Sacramento Kings: 9 Guards Who Would Mesh Well with Tyreke Evans
Finding a suitable backcourt mate for Tyreke Evans has not been easy for the Sacramento Kings.
They thought Beno Udrih would be an answer. Clearly he wasn't.
They’ve tried out the Pooh Jeter’s of the world. No luck there.
They even tried to give Francisco Garcia some run at the point. That idea quickly turned out to be every bit as horrible in reality as it looks on paper.
Maybe it is Tyreke’s unique skill set that has made it difficult for the Kings to find him a great complementary guard for him. Maybe it is the franchise’s unwillingness to spend money on good players. Maybe it’s both.
Either way, ‘Reke needs some help. In no particular order, here are nine players who would not only improve Sacramento’s roster, but aid in the development of the team’s young star.
You can go ahead and file this one under “pipe dreams that will never happen, ever”.
I know that there is no way the Kings will acquire Curry. They don’t have the assets that would be necessary to get him, and he would most likely not jump at a chance to play in Sacramento (or Anaheim, or wherever).
But Curry makes this list because he is the prototype of what the Kings should be looking for: true point guard? Check. Great handles? Yes. Effective scorer without the ball? Absolutely. Curry also has great passing instincts and has proven he can thrive alongside a pure scorer.
Curry, or more accurately a player like him, represents the best-case scenario for the Kings going forward.
8. Brandon Knight
If Sacramento is going to go in the direction (yet again) of choosing players based on raw talent and nothing else, somehow acquiring Knight seems like a logical step.
It is generally acknowledged that Knight will likely be gone by the time Sacramento makes their draft pick (seventh overall), but if they could manage to grab him they would immediately give themselves one of the rawest, most talented backcourts in the league.
Although his skills may not complement Tyreke’s as well as some other players on this list, Knight would be a tremendous match athletically, and would undoubtedly create an exciting, high-paced backcourt along with Evans.
7. Nolan Smith
I don’t think there is a player or team in the NBA who Nolan Smith would not fit in well with.
At 6’4”, Smith has good size for a point guard. He plays selflessly, and demonstrated tremendous leadership during his time at Duke. He can play off the ball or handle the rock, and has shown good basketball instincts.
Due to the position of their draft picks, it is unlikely that the Kings will select Smith (barring a trade), however his versatility and well-rounded offensive game would be a sight for sore eyes in Sacramento.
6. Jason Richardson
It certainly says something about the Sacramento Kings as a franchise that acquiring an aging, oft-traded J-Rich would represent a significant roster upgrade.
But Richardson’s skill set would fit Tyreke's game well. He would bring defense-expanding range, yet no longer demands the ball offensively like he did in years past.
At this point Richardson isn’t the threat or the dynamic acquisition he would have been even five years ago. But he could prove invaluable simply through veteran leadership and experience, two things the young Kings are sorely lacking.
5. Jimmer Fredette
Jimmer haters will point to his perceived weakness on defense and scorers’ mentality as reasons he would not fit with Evans.
However it is important to remember that Fredette’s BYU teams were not exactly overflowing with NBA caliber talent. He may have been a scorer in college because his team required him to score, but he is capable of doing it all, without concern for ego or individual stats.
As for defense…well, he doesn’t play any defense. But neither does 75 percent of the NBA.
What Jimmer does bring to the table is ballhandling, leadership and a deadly jumper, three areas of weakness for Evans.
4. Aaron Brooks
Signing Aaron Brooks could be a steal for the Kings. He is a young, pure point guard with proven big-shot-making abilities and unlimited range whose career trajectory seems to be trending upwards. And he is ultimately what the Kings love—a good buy-low candidate.
Plus, he'll be cheap! But only because he regressed last year and was incredibly inconsistent. Other than that he was great.
Brooks would also add more speed to Sacramento’s core of young guards, and would fit in well with players like Marcus Thornton and Omri Casspi. GM Geoff Petrie and co. seem to be committed to the idea of building around a young, athletic backcourt, and Brooks would fit firmly into this mold while also adding a steady hand to guide a young Kings roster.
3. Goran Dragic
Dragic is speedy, can handle and dish the ball, is a sniper from long range (sometimes) and would come on the cheap. He is basically a poor man’s Aaron Brooks.
But he could also be a star on the rise. At times in Phoenix and Houston, Dragic showed signs of becoming a franchise point guard. Stuck behind Steve Nash for much of his career (he only played in 22 games for the Rockets), these glimpses never became reality.
Sacramento could give Dragic the opportunity he needs to take his game to the next level.
2. Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker’s scoring instincts may conflict with Evans’….but imagine the backcourt speed.
The Kings seem determined to add an athletic guard to push the pace along with Tyreke, and Walker would give Sacramento an athletic advantage against almost every NBA team.
1. Arron Afflalo
Arron Afflalo wouldn’t be the most glamorous pickup the Kings could make, but he might be the best fit for Tyreke Evans, and could create a dynamic two-way backcourt in Sacramento.
Afflalo is a tremendous defender, doesn’t need to play with the ball in his hands, and is athletic enough to give Sacramento a fast, physical backcourt. Who knows, maybe some level of defensive commitment will even rub off on ‘Reke.
Acquiring Afflalo would require Sacramento to commit to Tyreke as a full-time point guard, which seems a little scary. On the other hand, would you rather watch Tyreke and Afflalo’s complementary games, or sit through another season of Beno Udrih: starting point guard?