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If you remember, it wasn’t that long ago that after a successful rookie season, Evans was being considered as an up-and-coming star in the NBA, and was being hailed in Sacramento as the player who would bring the Kings back from the dregs of the league.
And who could blame us? Evans was a 6-6 guard who had the mentality of Rambo when he was driving to the hoop. Tyreke’s rookie season was off the charts and historic. Evans became just the fourth player in NBA history to average 20 points, five rebounds, and five assist a game. He joined the following legends:
Oscar Robertson (1960-61)
Michael Jordan (1984-85)
LeBron James (2003-04)
That’s pretty good company if you’d ask me. But what happened after his rookie year was as tragic as the Titanic’s last voyage. The lockout and injuries would kill whatever hopes we had that Evans would be the savior we all hoped he would be, and in 2013, the Kings dealt him away in a sign-and-trade deal.
McLemore meanwhile may not have put up historically off the chart numbers that Evans did in his rookie year, but he has grown to be on the cusp of being a potential asset to the Kings. He was the only King to play in all 82 games, and his field goal shooting and points took a rise in his sophomore years.
You may think that the answer to this question would be a no-brainer, right? Well, it would had been, if not for the resurgence Evans has had this season. He is healthier than he has ever been, and he is coming close to putting down the number that he amassed in his rookie season.
So let me ask you this question again: Would you trade a promising Ben McLemore for an improved version of Tyreke Evans?
My answer? Take the risk.
Remember, Evans didn’t have nearly the talent in his rookie season that is on the Kings now. With DeMarcus Cousins dominating in the paint, and Rudy Gay looking like a stretch four, he would be a beast in the shooting guard slot playing alongside (hopefully) Ty Lawson.
Look, I love McLemore, and he is going to be a stud in this league, but Evans can do all of the things B-More can do, and as a bonus, he now has playoff experience with his New Orleans Pelicans about to be swept out of the first round by the Warriors.
So, my answer is yes, the Kings front office should explore this trade. But I want to know what you think about this. After looking at the numbers and the talent, I think you will come up with the same conclusion.