HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — We made a lot of assumptions about how the Sacramento Kings feel about Tyreke Evans based on the fact that they reportedly did not intend to offer the former Rookie of the Year a contract extension from his rookie deal.
Evans himself apparently did not.
Despite being mentioned in trade rumors and various other rumblings with free agency on hand, Evans continues to grind away on his game, and per Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee, raise eyebrows while working through whatever drama comes his way:
The Kings certainly aren’t acting like a team trying to trade Tyreke Evans.
Unlike last season when Evans spent much of the summer in Southern California working out, Evans has been in Sacramento working out with basketball president Geoff Petrie and other Kings staff.
Rumors persist involving Evans being traded, the latest being another proposed deal sending him to Houston that no one in our outside of the Kings has validated the proposed deal.
So, Evans is still a King that is working out with his boss.
Petrie is the man that would be trading Evans. Not that Petrie still couldn’t decide to move Evans, but his personal involvement with Evans indicates he is invested in seeing Evans progress.
A lot of the work is on Evans’ jump shot and working on the midrange game (jumpers, pull-up shots, floaters) that has been slow to develop in Evans’ first three seasons.
I’m also told Evans is in good shape (no extended vacationing) and that he’s making progress with his jump shot.
Of course, none of these developments matter in June, but it is progress.
Evans finished the season at small forward, but was never fully comfortable playing off the ball.
Privately, some within the Kings believe the move to small forward was a necessary step for Evans to reach his full potential.
The fact is Evans cannot play with the ball all the time. And in order to enhance Evans’ view of the game, coach Keith Smart wanted Evans to see the game from a new perspective.
The fact that Evans has remained in Sacramento this summer says something about his willingness to conform to whatever position and playing style Smart and the organization is asking him to. It also means that Evans understands the tenuous nature of his position in the franchise he was one believed to be the future face of, a role presumably occupied these days by DeMarcus Cousins.
Evans as a full-time small forward is an intriguing prospect for a Kings team that needs to do whatever it takes to get their best players on the court together.
And Evans, despite all of the drama, remains one of their best players.