For the past few days there have been rumblings that the New Orleans Pelicans had an offer sheet prepared for restricted free agent Tyreke Evans that would pay him approximately $44 million over four years. Not wanting to be left empty-handed, the Sacramento Kings have worked out a sign-and-trade with New Orleans that will indeed make Evans a member of the Pelicans next season.
According to the report from ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Portland Trail Blazers were bought in to help get the deal between the Pelicans and Kings completed and so New Orleans could shed salary. In the deal, the Kings will get Greivis Vasquez and two second-round picks, the Blazers will get Robin Lopez and Terrel Harris, and the Pelicans will get Evans, obviously, and center Jeff Withey.
This deal is just another chapter in an already incredibly eventful and fruitful off-season for the newly branded Pelicans. Obviously, the deal that got all of their moves started went down on draft night when New Orleans traded the draft rights to Nerlens Noel to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jrue Holiday. Now this trade has them in an extremely favorable position.
As of right now, the core of the Pelicans next season will consist of Holiday, Evans, Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis. Not only are all of those players great talents that offer a ton of versatility, but the oldest of those guys is Anderson, who is just 25 years old.
The Pelicans have now assembled an extremely young core that can grow and develop together as they head into their primes in the NBA. They drafted Davis last year with the intention of building a contender around him and their moves this off-season are putting that plan into motion.
Another thing that the Evans acquisition does for New Orleans is it gives them flexibility regarding the oft-injured Gordon. Gordon is a talented player when healthy, but that hasn’t been frequently over the past couple of seasons. Gordon also hasn’t worked out well with the Pelicans system when he’s been on the floor either. With Evans in town now, the Pelicans have the option of dealing him if need be.
Though Evans hasn’t shown a considerable amount of growth since his rookie season, he’s still a talented player that many people believe had been misused in Sacramento. With him going to the Pelicans with a solid young core surrounding him, this seems like a winning situation for Evans and New Orleans.