Tyreke Evans was a stud in one season at Memphis under John Calipari – a scoring machine who couldn’t be stopped on his way to the basket. Possessing a slick handle and great finishing skills, Evans was – 1 on 1 – a nightmare for opponents. Few were surprised when, after being drafted 4th by the Kings in 2009, he averaged 20-5-5 and captured Rookie of the Year honors.
But after four seasons in the league, has Evans improved? Nope. Have the Kings improved? Nope. Was Evans fingered as a locker room disaster in Sacramento? Yup.
Naturally, the New Orleans Pelicans are – according to Sam Amick and David Aldridge – offering Evans 4 years and $44 million. The numbers should shock you, but if they don’t, consider this: Stephen Curry got a $44 million extension last year.
Who was New Orleans bidding against for Evans? Surely not the Kings, who just drafted Ben McLemore. I’ll be floored if the Kings match the offer and retain Evans.
In defense of Evans … eh, poor choice of words. He doesn’t play any.
Evans, one could argue, has regressed in his four years in the pros. Maybe his knee was worse than everyone thought last year, and that’s why he bottomed out. Maybe the Kings were such a clueless franchise, Evans never had a chance to make the Kings better.
Perhaps I’m being too harsh, and I’m the only one who is struggling to find a way Evans fits in with Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon (who probably won’t be retained, but is a much better shooter than Evans), and Anthony Davis. If you argue that Evans could be an instant-offense guy off the bench, why in the name of Ben Gordon would you pay $11 million a year for points off the bench?
Evans is a ball-stopping tweener who can’t shoot, and that’s not a good thing. How is 20-year old Austin Rivers – a lottery pick in 2012 – supposed to improve with Evans in front of him? I know his rookie year was historically bad, but adding Holiday and Evans is a signal there’s zero confidence in Rivers going forward.
If the Pelicans wanted a scoring guard/forward, why not offer Andre Iguodala? Hell, I would have sooner overpaid for JJ Redick or OJ Mayo, both of whom are better shooters than Evans, and dominate the ball far less.