Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans was the focus of a few trade rumors around the NBA trade deadline before the Kings decided to keep him, for better or for worse. It’s not as if Evans, former third overall pick and 2009-2010 Rookie of the Year award winner, is a bust. Evans has averaged 17.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists so far in his NBA career. That’s not bad by any means.
The biggest issue with Tyreke Evans is that he’s gotten statistically worse every season since his rookie year. Evans has seen his scoring progressively dip from 20.1 points as a rookie to 17.8, 16.5 and 15.5 each season, mostly due to a lack of a consistent role on the Kings and a game that hasn’t evolved much over the years.
Evans is one of the best players off the dribble in the NBA. At 6’6″ and with handles like a point guard, Evans can get to the basket with the best of them. But when teams back off of him, Evans jump shot is still a liability.
To his credit Evans is shooting a career-best .473 from the field this season as he’s been more selective with his shot attempts, so there is evidence that he can be productive in the right system. But the Sacramento Kings might not be the team Evans should be playing for next season.
Tyreke Evans will be a restricted free agent this summer and should have a number of suitors. The Boston Celtics have been rumored to covet Evans’ skill set for years to replace Paul Pierce. The Los Angeles Lakers could also be a possibility, if the Lakers can free up cap space by trading Pau Gasol and using the amnesty clause of Metta World Peace.
Of course, the Kings have the option to match an offer Evans gets, but with new management pending the Kings should be looking to rebuild their roster around DeMarcus Cousins and one of the solid wing players in the NBA draft lottery instead of continue with the same players that haven’t won in years. In any case, the Sacramento Kings may have missed their opportunity to trade Evans and get some value out of the threat of losing him to a lucrative offer in free agency.