NBA Rumors: Pacers to Target Tyreke Evans, Will Barton in Free Agency

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2018

Memphis Grizzlies' Tyreke Evans (12) brings the ball up the court against the Charlotte Hornets during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, March 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

The Indiana Pacers will reportedly target free-agent wings Tyreke Evans and Will Barton this summer, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN.com. 

The rumor comes on the same day that Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported that the Pacers would decline Lance Stephenson's $4.3 million team option for the 2018-19 campaign, making him a free agent.

Both Evans and Barton would offer the Pacers another scoring threat at the 2 or 3. 

Evans, 28, had an excellent season for the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2017-18 season, averaging 19.4 points, 5.2 assists and 5.1 rebounds in 52 games while shooting 39.9 percent from three. His ability to both score and facilitate for his teammates would certainly take some pressure off of Victor Oladipo in Indiana.

Barton, meanwhile, is a streaky scorer who often lit up opponents off the bench for the Denver Nuggets. The 27-year-old averaged 15.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 81 games (40 starts), shooting 37 percent from beyond the arc. 

It's undetermined how much cap space the Pacers will have to lure players like Evans or Barton to Indiana, though they could clear a significant amount, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN: 

If the Pacers are able to get up to $30 million in cap space, they could be major factors in free agency, with a small number of teams actually possessing the funds to chase high-profile free agents this summer. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reported earlier in June that Young is considering waiving his $13.7 million player option, which would get the Pacers to around $26 million in cap space.

While the Pacers are unlikely to find themselves in the running for the top tier of free agents like LeBron James, Paul George, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul, they could be attractive for players in the next tier down, which will include Clint Capela, DeMarcus Cousins and DeAndre Jordan, though only if the Pacers don't believe in Myles Turner. 

Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle, Marcus Smart, J.J. Redick, Trevor Ariza and Avery Bradley are some more of the names that could be in play as well. If the Pacers hit $30 million in cap space, they could very well be in the market for two top-20 free agents this summer.

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