Is Tyreke Evans The Next Joe Johnson?

Draft

Is Evans The Next Joe Johnson

First off, let me say, in no way or form is this an attempt to bash Tyreke Evans. Although it’s widely known I wanted Ricky Rubio in Sacramento, my second choice was Tyreke Evans and I’m thrilled to have him. But to say I’m without concern, would be a lie.

I’ve seen numerous people compare Tyreke to TMac, and while I guess that’s a valid comparison, I tend to see more of a Joe Johnson type. I think Joe is a wonderful player, and I believe Tyreke will be as well – but there is a common theme with Joe and TMac. They’re both talented players, who just aren’t talented enough to get past the “good” stage.

Tyreke is by no stretch an NBA Point Guard and the chance of him ever growing into that mold are slim. Being a good Point Guard is something that is a natural ability – not something you can really teach. His Point Guard abilities strike me more as a Joe Johnson or a Lebron James. All three of those guys see the floor well and can penetrate much like an All-Star caliber Point Guard, but they’re not distributors. They can’t create easy baskets with a pass. They can’t run a team. The style of game they play is only one speed. And by no stretch am I comparing Joe or Tyreke to Lebron, simply comparing their “Point Guard” unique skills for guys at their size.

I have two grave concerns with the roster as is right now. The first is simply the construction of the roster. To say we need a true Point Guard would be an extreme understatement. There is not a single player on this current roster (other than Evans) who has even an above average ability to get their own shot. From Hawes to Thompson, and from Martin to Garcia, all the players currently on this roster need to be set up in some way, shape, or form to be successful and efficient. As much as I like Tyreke and as skilled as he is, he simply can’t do that to the degree of a legit Point Guard. He does have the ability to put the ball on the floor and penetrate, but, he’ll need to learn how to distribute the ball when doing so – not put his head down and destroy whatever is planted in front of him.

My second and larger concern right now is Tyreke at the Point Guard and Kevin Martin at the Shooting Guard position. Tyreke is far from a blazing speedster, though he does have a unique ability to change speeds like Deron Williams which I believe will be incredibly beneficial. With that said, the Kings problem lies with Martin at the 2-guard. It’s going to take just a few games for opposing teams to realize they need to move their stronger SG onto Tyreke at the PG slot, and move their quick and agile PG to the 2-guard spot to cover Kevin Martin. David Thorpe of ESPN has also mentioned this and feels it should be of great concern to the Kings. Martin is by no stretch a physical player, and his major strength over most other 2-guards in the league is his quickness. Moving PG’s to cover Martin takes away his major tool. On the flip side, as it currently stands, Evans has an enormous advantage over most NBA Point Guard’s do to his unique size. But, with teams moving their PG onto Martin, they now have the ability to move their stronger and more physical 2-guard onto Tyreke, taking away the momentous advantage he had over the Point Guard. Overall, the two match up advantages we had, now can quickly become matchup disadvantages.

What does all of this mean? Well, as of now? Nothing. We’ve yet to see Martin and Evans play together, nor have we seen how teams will approach the odd combination. Though to say I’m not concerned would be a lie.

The season can’t get here fast enough.

Topics: Joe Johnson, Kevin Martin, Tyreke Evans

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  • DustyG

    I hope Evans learns to shoot like Joe Johnson. True, defenses will in some instances switch defensive roles. But that defensive move isnt going to neutralize our offense. Tyreke can get around most PGs effectively, imagine what he’ll do to some larger slower 2 guards. And KMart can just shoot over many PGs–in addition to being quick, he’s also a pretty good shooter. And these mismatches are nice problems to have, much better than the issues we faced with a Beno/Martin backcourt.

  • lodisacfan

    Have you been watching the summer league games? Against the D-League Evans set up Thompson over and over while he played. In addition, I would argue that this team needs much more than a true point guard. Do you think that is really going to fix things? We need a player to build around, which we currently do not have. We have a bunch of nice role players. Evans could be that type of build around player, no matter who you want to compare him to.

  • Eze

    We need a lot of things. Evans was one of the main things we needed – a guy that can get to the basket with a relentless tenacity. That said, do I think Evans will be the guy that makes the rest of our role players better, like a true point guard can? Not really. I think if they both worked together (Evans and a legit PG), than yes, that might possibly be enough…but as is, Evans reminds me a lot of the uber-talented guard that can’t make his teammates play at a higher level than they should.

    And if we get a legit PG..then we’re stuck with Evans and Martin at the 2.

    Personally, I’d like to see Martin go and move Evans to the 2 and get a high profile PG that understands how to run a team.

  • Eze

    And yes, I’ve watched. :)

  • Francois

    This article echo’s my point of view perfectly. I’d almost say to trade Kevin Martin for Ricky Rubio and have Evans play SG… but Evan’s isn’t a good shooter. I have no idea… still so many holes and no sure things on this team. Rubio would be a sure thing at point guard.. and Evans is a terrific prospect, but his skills aren’t perfect for any position…

  • Eze

    Thanks :)

    I really do like Evans…the kid is talented beyond his years. He is without a doubt that could have come straight from high school if not for the 1 year rule. It’s just…his style of game, and our current roster, don’t really mix well. There is plenty of time to change that without a doubt, but I don’t want Evans to be the typical good guard on a bad/avg team like JJ and TMac have been their entire careers.

  • david

    LeBron can’t run a team? I understand the point you’re trying to make but that is false. LeBron is an elite scorer & an elite distributor.

  • david

    Trading KMart for Rubio would be assanine. The article illustrated good points about Reke & KMart playing together, but it can work! Reke will dominate the ball and Kevin will play off of it (as he has his whole career). If we had rubio & tyreke they’d both need the ball

  • lodisacfan

    I agree with David. Trade KMart for Rubio? LOL. They don’t call him Ricky Youtubio for nothing. Petrie did his homework on Rubio. He watched the same olympics and youtube videos as everyone else. In addition he went to Europe twice to watch him play. I think we can agree Petrie is a pretty good Europe evaluator as well.
    I agree that maybe Martin should go EVENTUALLY for a legit PG, but I am glad we took Evans over Rubio. We need a star player on our team, not necessarily a PG. Bibby was never a legit true PG and we kicked ass w/ him.
    Rubio is far from a proven quantity and definitely not a sure thing. I don’t know for sure, but my guess is that he’s less athletic than most PGs in this draft.

  • Eze

    I don’t think Lebron runs a team all that well. He gets a lot of nice assist numbers due to the massive amounts of doubles and triples he gets, leading to open players…but his running a team consists more of give me the ball, I’ll run into the lane, and kick it out. Which is okay, but, that’s not really running a team.

    I’m not sure how effective that is either(considering you have the first or second best player in the league on a team doing this)…

    I’d like to believe a skilled point guard would get easier shots towards the basket..not collapse the interior and kick out for open 21 footers all the time.

    I think that’s more of the difference I was referring to. :)

  • Aykis16

    Do you honestly think a point guard can guard Kevin Martin? Kevin would just shoot right over them. You know how much easier it would be for Kevin to get to the line or score with a smaller guy on him? Thats what I love about Evans on our team. It’s pick your poison. If you put your point guard on K-Mart you’re giving up size and strength.

    To me, that’s the flaw of your argument. If teams figured they could put their point guard on Kevin Martin by now, I think they would have done it. And how many point guards in the league are defensive stoppers? Rondo?