As each day passes, one should wonder if New Orleans Pelicans SG Tyreke Evans will ever find his place in the NBA. Frankly, we thought as soon as he donned a Sacramento Kings uniform in 2009, that he already did.
Evans was one of only four players to put up averages of 20-5-5 in his rookie year. That exclusive group consists of Oscar Robertson, Lebron James, and Michael Jordan.
After playing in 79 games in the 2014-15 season, which was the last time New Orleans made the playoffs, Evans has only been able to appear in a combined 47 outings since then.
However, what’s been a growing concern over the years, is his health — particularly his right knee. And in the process, New Orleans has obviously struggled with remaining healthy — not just with Evans, but as well as Anthony Davis and other key-players. Evans is giving it another shot though — but this time, it could very well be last. It’s been a long recovery ever since an arthroscopic surgery had took place on the knee back in 2015.
You just can’t name many players in the NBA who’ve taken such a road like Tyreke has in recent years. From showing “complete superstar” promise with the Sacramento Kings, to now a second or even third-tier SG — which to me, is also fine. Reason why, is because Evans will always contribute in various ways. And for these three-teams below that are looking for prolonged success, he would be a terrific piece for them.
New York Knicks
Falling away from not even close to the set-expectations earlier, the Knicks are destined to make pre-deadline changes. Whether it’ll involve their “terrorized” All-Star Carmelo Anthony, remains in question.
Currently at a 22-30 record, the Knicks should have plenty of targets. And for a team who’s currently at the bottom-half of the league in assists, Tyreke Evans should be a reasonable look.
Evans, who’s career-average of 5.2 APG doesn’t necessarily jump off the page, his ability to drive-and-kick to shooters is lethal. If the Knicks were to go small with a potential lineup of Rose-Lee-Evans-Anthony-Porizngis, not only would Evans oppose double-teams for whenever he gets it going, but there’ll be more movement on the perimeter from someone who can make plays. Also, neither Rose or Jennings are characteristically “willing” passers unlike Evans.
If I’m New Orleans, a pairing of Anthony Davis and Joakim Noah would be ideal. Even though Noah is on the near-fault of his career, he’s still proving that he’s been able to hold his own on the glass.
Give this Knicks team a ball-handler that can consistently create for others — in which they lack greatly, we could be seeing a much more cohesive team in March.
Of any of these three trades listed here, this one makes the most sense for me. After Nuggets SF Wilson Chandler reportedly asked for a trade days ago, Denver should be taking calls for him. And a team that could certainly use a comfortable scorer and defender such as Chandler, are none other than the Pelicans.
Although Denver has some solid upcoming guards such as Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris, Will Barton, and even rookie Jamal Murray, Tyreke Evans would add even more depth alongside them. Let’s remind ourselves that Evans is more than capable as a backup PG, SG, or a SF. He would be huge as Coach Mike Malone is still trying to develop his young players.
Los Angeles Clippers
Ah, the Clippers.
So undecided on where their future is headed, especially from a health standpoint.
Not only would Tyreke be an awesome asset for the Clippers — regarding to their bench-play, he fills in the role Lance Stephenson once had a couple years ago. Control the pace of the second-unit. But for Evans, he’d fit right in at the starting SF position. He doesn’t get enough credit of how well he can guard opposing star wing-players, but even at a smaller height of 6’6″ Evans could be the pest that the Clippers could use — while running in transition.
I won’t take away from how solid Raymond Felton has been playing in Chris Paul’s abscence, but ultimately, he isn’t someone you would want to rely on as far as making an immediate impact. If this were to happen, the Clippers shouldn’t have a problem giving up either Wesley Johnson and either Felton or Brice Johnson for Evans. They could also throw in their 2020 second rounder, as well.
Very interesting to see if Tyreke Evans will remain a Pelican. On the final-year of his contract, the Pelicans should look to acquire solid assets for him. However, it’s unsure if his value will be the same, but if New Orleans were to put him on the market, he’s a capable piece for success.