The Sacramento Kings thought they had something special following the 2009-10 season.
That year, No. 4 overall pick Tyreke Evans became the fourth rookie in NBA history to average at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists per game on his way to winning the NBA Rookie of the Year award.
Now, a mere three years later, Evans is more likely to be dealt from the struggling Kings than he is to forge a successful career in Sacramento.
So far, the Kings have not offered Evans an extension—though he is eligible for one this offseason—and according to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee, they might not be interested in doing so.
On a team that is crowded with wing players, Evans could be the odd man out. In addition to Marcus Thornton, last season's leading scorer, Sacramento is saddled with the contracts of John Salmons, Francisco Garcia and Travis Outlaw.
Evans has averaged 18.2 points, 5.3 assists and 4.9 rebounds in his three-year NBA career and could be an asset for several teams, but the Kings are not one of them.
Ailene Voisin, also of the Sacramento Bee, reported that the team will entertain offers for Evans, and she feels that they should, given the team's lack of success in recent years.
Evans was drafted in 2009 as a point guard, but he has since been moved to small forward with the emergence of rookie Isaiah Thomas. His lack of a true position could be a turn-off to some teams, but he is still a dynamic talent and will certainly drum up some interest on the trade front during the offseason.
The Kings have a couple of holes to fill before they even begin thinking about starting to win. They can start down that path by getting a good return for a player that, just three years ago, they thought would be a franchise cornerstone.
By not already offering Evans a contract extension, general manager Geoff Petrie is sending a clear message to his former star—one that says he will be in a different uniform next season.