Is Tyreke 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.