Did Sacramento Kings avoid financial disaster by trading Tyreke Evans?

Jan 21, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans point guard Tyreke Evans (1) drives past Sacramento Kings shooting guard Marcus Thornton (23) during the first quarter of a game at New Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

First and foremost, I’m not sure I’ve ever come across a Sacramento Kings fan who didn’t like Tyreke Evans, the person.

Tyreke Evans, the basketball player? That’s a different story.

Few players have created such a rift between the Sacramento fan base. After an impressive freshman campaign that saw Evans bring home the 2009-10 NBA Rookie of the Year award, the former Memphis Tiger struggled to recapture the magic and seemingly declined – this when he wasn’t injured.

A free agent this past offseason, the current regime opted to part ways with Evans, trading him to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Greivis Vasquez. Vasquez’s tenure in Sacramento didn’t last long as he was packaged in a deal centered around Rudy Gay, which effectively (in essence) became trading Evans, Patrick Patterson, Chuck Hayes and John Salmons for Rudy Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray.

Most Kings fans are likely happy with the exchange – especially given Evans’ play this season.

Below is the former Kings current season shot chart:

Granted, the game isn’t all about shooting and Evans at times can be a very solid defender and passer, so his shot chart doesn’t tell the full story. But still, that’s not exactly something one could defend either.

In addition, Evans has unfortunately continued to deal with nagging ankle injuries which forced him to miss nine regular season games and the vast majority of training camp.

Evans was one of the more frustrating players I’ve ever watched simply because his talent level is so unique. With his body and size, he’s one of the few players that could be a devastating force in the league without perfected skills. But if he continues to struggle with his shot, he’ll be lucky to sniff an All-Star game in his best season.

There’s still plenty of time for improvement for Evans (and I personally hope he achieves the type of success that his talent will allow) but until he’s able to fix his shot, it’s going to be a long road. And at four years, $44 million dollars? It looks like the Sacramento Kings front office may have dodged a bullet.

Evans, who was recently promoted to the Pelicans starting five is averaging 12.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 25 minutes a game on 40% from the floor.

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