Hot Streak Increases Evans’ Value





SACRAMENTO, Calif. – It turned personal at the strangest of times, with a couple minutes remaining between two lottery-bound teams and about 10,000 people, if that, watching on a rainy night.

Tyreke Evans heard someone on the Raptors bench – he thinks injured forward Landry Fields – shout “Hell no!” as Evans lined up a three-pointer in a tight game Wednesday.

Evans connected from a few feet away from the visitors and gave a long, punctuating stare.

Next Kings possession, same thing. He heard “Leave him open!” as the Raptors did just that, backing off in understandable strategy. Evans hit again and stared again. He said something too, a message that very possibly included a word beginning with F.

“Maybe so,” Evans said later, smiling.

Vindication and the baskets that turned a 95-95 tie into an eventual 107-100 victory. Yes, this is a good run.

Evans has scored 27, 20 and, most recently, 23 points his last three games, a streak interrupted only by the bruised left knee that cost him two contests before the return to exchange holiday greetings with the Raptors. He is shooting 50 percent. He is sticking to a commitment to defense that started in training camp to regularly check two positions a night and is on alert that a three – both backcourt spots and small forward – is possible. He gets the opponent’s biggest scoring threat on the wing as long as it is not a small point guard.

Of course Toronto played it right Wednesday. Maybe not the trash-talking part, but Evans had made six three-pointers all season, for a 27.3-percent success rate. Everybody knows to go into prevent defense and collapse around the lane when he gets the ball on the perimeter, because Evans will put his head down and barrel to the rim. That he made the Raptors pay for doing nothing wrong is the flashing bright light of exactly how good he is going.

These are the moments, however brief, that remind of Evans as Rookie of the Year, either three seasons or a lifetime ago, of why he may still be an integral part of the rebuilding puzzle. Or of why he could still be traded.

The topic is on the clock, especially when he plays like this, because the sides did not reach an agreement on an extension to Evans’ rookie contract by Oct. 31, putting him on schedule to become a restricted free agent on July 1. The decision made perfect sense for the Kings – he was regressing, had no position, and no certain place in the future, and to spend big to lock him up before the Halloween deadline would have been ill-advised.

The decision also raised the stakes on trade considerations, because now it was possible to see them losing a starter for nothing in July, if another team reaches deep enough for an offer sheet the Kings do not match. (To say they could simply sign-and-trade their way into a return is an oversimplification. Team X may not offer any assets Sacramento wants, and the Kings certainly won’t take bad contracts back.) He could stay in the summer with a new deal, he could leave without compensation or he could leave in a swap, but new rookie extension means new uncertainty.

Potential suitors won’t be swayed by a few games set against seasons, plural, of Evans trying to find his way while backsliding from a dynamic rookie season. But it will attract some eyes. So will a few more fourth-quarter Hell no! jumpers.

The truth, though, is that his real value would be as a point guard, and that isn’t going to happen. Maybe another team sees the potential to coach him into a permanent starter, thinking it can work past the endless moments of Evans driving into three defenders waiting in the lane and passing to no one. The Kings had the same vision when they took him at No. 4 in 2009, still a pretty good pick, of someone 6 foot 6 and 220 pounds with the speed and ability to immediately run past and through most grown men. In Sacramento, though, Aaron Brooks has the job and Evans is a swingman.

Playing point guard was the entire hook. Strong, fast shooting guards and small forwards are not unique, and shooting guards and small forwards without a perimeter game, when everyone knows to play them for the drive, don’t bring a lot in return. That is the unavoidable part of the Evans predicament that can’t be stared down.

33 Comments

  1. HMH says:

    Evans is one of the more overrated players in the NBA. The only reason why he had such a memorable rookie season was because he had the ball in his hands so much. Play him off the ball, and he’s nothing special. In fact, with the ball, he’s nothing special — just a hyped-up ball hog!

  2. Nowitzki says:

    Hey come to BIG D, you and Mr. Juice could be a great young duo at the backcourt. Play the point and Juice will play the 2 position, Darren I think is not too strong for other point guard on the league

  3. Shan says:

    to everyone here saying that DWADE should be traded, it aint gonna happen, he will retire in a HEAT UNIFORM period.I still believe he can pull through his tough situation right now and that same goes for Evans A Slashing guard that has n “J” like Wade still if he can just change his from and make a more proper effort in doing his shooting workout he can make himself a deadly shooter just see Rose, he developed a jumpshot its still too early and EVANS, im waiting for your break out year, just do your thing man!

  4. Guardian Dherryl says:

    Did anyone thought of a possible trade with New Orleans? Since Gordon will also seem to be traded. I think Aminu too?

  5. Just A Guy from Bosnia says:

    He should go to OKC for Martin and Lamb! Kings would get a great vet who can put points on the board and a promising young guard! Evans would mature and reach his full potential with Durant and Westbrook! He could come of the bench and be like Harden, guy with the ball in his hands with Maynor for 3-s and Thabeet for easy slams or alley oops! It is a win-win situation!

  6. QueensBridge says:

    I always thought that Evan is more like a D-Rose/Lebron type player. He’s only effective if the ball is in his hands 70-80 percent of the time. If the Kings don’t keep him, they’re stupid. If they can do a sign and trade, for a useful player. Okay, just don’t give him up. Evan is the best thing that happened to the Kings since Chris Webber and Mitch Richmond. Don’t F- it up, Kings. They have some “cheap” owners.

  7. Rafael Godinho says:

    He is clueless. unintelligent.

  8. Sandy says:

    What? We have won 5 games and all of a sudden Tyreke is great. Watch the upcoming games and see if this continues. Tyreke still thinks he should have the ball all of the time and has a habit of running the floor, no sharing and losing the ball. When he was point guard he made the remark he just has to have that ball. Please, don’t put him in point guard again. One or two games is not enough to prove anything in this article.

  9. Jessie White says:

    send us(the bulls) evens and we will give yall rip teague and kurt 2 vets and a future all star and leader.

  10. Jessie White says:

    men send him to us (the bulls) we will give him a vet like rip and caption kurt and even teague

  11. matthew says:

    TRADE M FOR DWAYNE WADE AND THEN TRADE D WADE TO THE LAKERS FOR STEVE NASH SO IT WILL MAKE IT EVEN EASIER FOR THE LAKERS TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP

  12. Lee says:

    Trade him to BOSTON :)

  13. keaNDG says:

    go to lakers!!worldpeace and jordan hill to tyreke and outlaw

  14. Mauie says:

    tyrek for evan turner :)

  15. yoyosuites says:

    There are only a handful of players with Tyreke’s size and handles. The kings will have cap space, and will never attract a free agent as talented as Evans. Besides, no one is going to be offering a Jeremy Lin type contract to Evans, being he is not an international icon. Expect this to go more like Nicolas Batum’s free agency.

    Unfortunately, I am a huge Sacto fan and I’ll say this. Tyreke is a rhythm player and has not gotten enough touches this season. To win in this league, your stars need touches and outlets. Outlets should be shooters and big men. Tyreke’s rookie year he had Kevin Martin and Spencer Hawes, players more suited offensively to work off of a driving guard. The kings don’t have a single spot shooter in the group, and there is no motion off of drives. I don’t think Evans and Demarcus have single a go to structure to incorporate themselves with each other.

    THE MALOOFS ARE JABRONIS. The Organization has failed to build a team around Tyreke and Demarcus, look at their acquisitions. Jimmer is a horrible shooter who uses his left thumb in his jump shot like an un-coachable 12 year old and was only drafted to bring in the Yes on Prop 8 money. If any one needs to be traded it’s him. John Salmons looks like a less talented Tyreke Evans in 10 years. Thomas Robinson, another to the basket player, has not had the playing time to instill confidence, losing minutes to Chuck Hayes. Chuck Hayes is like a division II 6’5″ center. Aaron Brooks is another driving guard who needs to dribble into rhythm. With what they paid Hayes and Brooks they could have made an offer on Ryan Anderson who embodies the type of players they need.

    imagine: Kemba Walker, Tyreke, Harrison Barnes, Ryan Anderson, and DeMarcus… or Damien Lillard, Tyreke, Kawi Leonard, Ryan Anderson, Demarcus. These are playoff teams: Aaron Brooks, Tyreke, James Johnson, Jason Thompson, and Demarcus clearly are not.
    Tyreke is not going anywhere… except maybe Seattle or Virginia Beach

  16. TroyGuin says:

    Are you serious? The Kings will not let Tyreke go without a valuable piece in return. They are looking for a veteran to lead the team. I dont believe Tyreke will be the one to go to get that Vet.

  17. Erald says:

    Why are trades the only thing discussed by the NBA these days. Its so frustrating how these players move around so much and then wind up getting injured and retire to the knicks or the hawks. Why cant they just stay where they are and tough it out. He’s doing well with the kings? STAY WITH THE KINGS

  18. hutchinson says:

    I think that Tyreke should be traded to the Magic, for Hedo Turkoglu and another expiring contrac, or Evans can sign with them in the off-season since he is in his last year of his contract. He would fit well there and become the franchise player. The Magic are not doing as bad as I thought they would be and improve even more if they were to get Evans.

  19. eurich says:

    this guyhas no future with kings, trade him to a better team

  20. TS says:

    Hey… at least the Raptors tried to talk smack. Hard thing to muster up when you’re 4-15.

  21. xWildinGx says:

    Come to the Bulls :D

  22. ryan says:

    come back home the sixers could use you

  23. Luiz says:

    Tyreke Evans is a point guard, i don’t understand why the Kings don’t see that. In his first year he played better than Brooks in his best year. Tyreke has the potencial to be an All-Star, he just have to play the point guard and don’t get injured.

  24. lakers fan says:

    trade him for dwayne wadeand will trade seve nash so we will become mre stronger tan ever

  25. ldt says:

    isnt he a pg

  26. waltwilliams55 says:

    sacramento native, I will cry, but I see the inevitable happening, he gets a sign and trade for bad pieces, the Maloofs ruined our city and our basketball team. The league needs to make a deal, there is a salary cap for a reason, and they get no where near it. John Salmons, Jimmer Fredette, and Francisco Garcia are payed less than Durant does a season. (Garcia and Salmons are 2 of the 3 highest payed on the kings payroll). The league will strip our team. Why reward the Maloofs with a new city and arena for bad business decisions. You can’t expect fans to be any more loyal when we don’t get to watch anything but a “rebuild” for the past decade.
    Venting done.

  27. Carlito says:

    Does anyone else think Tyreke would be great with the Bulls? He would be another ball handler that could be out on the floor with Rose to score plus create shots for his teammates.

    • Yomar15 says:

      I think the same way yo do my friend! But what will the bulls give them in return? Old Hamilton? Boozer no body will want him and Taj Gibson is untuchable… Maybe Jimmy Butler but he hasn’t show anything at all so I don’t think so… But I will love to se this happen I’m a Bulls and Derrick Rose Fan… so let’s see!

    • Pedrito says:

      Yessss!!!!! first thought that came to mind!

    • won says:

      I think you’re absolutely right. I’ve been thinking about that actually since he was drafted, how well tyreke and rose would function together.

    • Will says:

      The only way Tyreke would be “great” on the bulls is if you stagger his and rose’s mins as in bring tyreke off the bench kinda as a “harden” type. Tyreke cant shoot at all and he make terrible floor spacing for derrick. Tyreke is only effective if he has the ball in his hands and he wont with D Rose on the team.

    • Jesper says:

      that thought came to me too and i thought it was rubbish until i saw your comment and hell yeah!

      Tyreke to bulls! lets just hope bulls have something to offer in return.